Summary: Usually, the day after Christmas, we find ourselves worn down, spent... and DONE. How can we carry the joy of Christmas throughout the year?

Twas the Night After Christmas

Before I start out, I need to find my mother-in-law. This first part is fictional… OK… as in not true… but it’s going to set up my sermon so roll with it ok?

’Twas the night after Christmas

I remember it well,

With presents all over,

My house looked like… bad!

The stockings once hung,

by the chimney with care,

Were now on the floor…

Thrown here and thrown there!

The in-laws were gone,

Headed back to Dakota…

But not before getting

Will hopped up on soda!

We collapse on the couch

no energy to spare,

He swings from the curtain

And we don’t even care.

We finally got him

taped down to his bed,

All high on sugar,

Too much candy, we said.

The ensuing mess,

still lay on the floor,

we try to avoid it,

it instills too much horror.

The food is still out,

Turning greyer in time,

No one dare touch it,

It’s three quarters slime.

We vow never ever,

Shall we ever again

Bring sooo… ooh many

Into our… tiny den.

And so as me and mine

Finally give up the fight,

Merry Christmas to all,

And to all a good night.

So here we are, just a few days after Christmas. How are you doing? Are you still buzzing with the excitement of Christmas? Or… not so much. Are you a little run down… tired of the festivities… ready for this new year to get started already so we can just get on with our normal lives again. Dreading going back to work? To be honest I was dreading today a little bit. Me and the other 20 some pastor’s I graduated with were all saying the same thing as we procrastinated on Facebook together… “I have no idea what I am going to say tomorrow” we said to each other. I debated having a hymn sing and calling it a Sunday, but then Alyssa guided me back to wisdom. After ALL Kay has done this past week with extra services… I’d kill you if I was her. So I thought wiser of it and went back to the grindstone.

Then, I got this little bit of inspiration. I’m not alone… in being run down. Sure pastors are always a bit worn out after the holidays, but it’s not just us. We’ve all been running nonstop trying to pull this holiday together. To further prove my point… an amazing thing happened yesterday morning… the Holy Spirit moved me towards a story in yesterday’s Pantagraph. Sitting on the top of the paper pile was yesterday’s “Life” section… and an article “Moving On… the Day after Christmas.” I think it helps paint the right perspective.

It’s the day after Christmas and my friend Sissy Blissman, the sweetest person you’d ever want to meet, has already taken down her Christmas tree.

In fact, the tree was dismantled Christmas afternoon. The ornaments were packed and tucked away in the closet. The strings of lights were neatly wound up and stuck in the garage. Torn ribbons and bows were collected and hauled to the curb for garbage pickup. By 5 p.m. Christmas night, there was nary a sign that Dec. 25th was anything other than an ordinary day. Not a sprig of mistletoe remained.

“I love decorating the house for Christmas,” she says, “but by the time Christmas day rolls around, I am tired of looking at it all.”

It’s a different story at our house. I haven’t recovered from Christmas day yet. Scraps of wrapping paper litter the floor and the dog is still wearing the red bow someone put around her neck. Crumbs of Christmas cookies cover the kitchen floor, but they are barely noticeable compared to the stain on the drapes where hot chocolate splashed after Aunt Martha knocked over a mug when she was demonstrating her pirouette from her role in the “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies” in 1966.

The nativity set looks like a windstorm went through Bethlehem; the miniature pieces are scattered every which way after a small child took an interest in the wisemen, shepherds and camels. As for the Christmas tree, well, we can forget about it coming down for a while. We are still too busy bumbling around in our housecoats searching for dirty dishes that might be shoveled under the couch.

Done. That might be the word for it. Done. Ready to put Christmas back in its box and forget it again until next year. Or, as one of my friends put it so well… “Manheim Steamrollers… we thank you for your wonderful contribution of a rocking ‘Carol of the Bells’ however… you can go away now… please.”

Its something we can all perhaps sympathize with a little bit… so much is built into this season… that once it is over we just want it to BE over… we want to recover and get back to our normal lives. In some ways… I think that is the same way it was 2000 years ago.

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