Right before we took down our Christmas decorations, my daughter said, “Mom! Let’s be the first family to celebrate Christmas all year long!” I jokingly said, “Yes, that’s a great idea!” and then she started going on about all the gifts she still wanted — totally missing the point of celebrating Christmas. Oops. So that got me thinking, how can we celebrate Christmas all year long? I have a few suggestions.
Don’t be that ‘Redneck Woman’
Ok, so we don’t need to keep the the lights on the front porch all year long, but instead keep a special LED light on the dinner table and invite Jesus to dinner.
Keep your heart clean
During Advent we prepare a room for Jesus in our hearts, but what about that space when Jesus is “there.” We need to continue to keep that room clean and clutter free from sin and dust. Pursuing virtue and charity during the year extends the Christmastide spirit for sure.
Ponder, like Mary
Christmas isn’t the only time we should be pondering the works and wonders of Jesus. Each week (and you could even make it every day), really ponder the works of Jesus that is read in the Gospel and apply it to our daily lives. And though you may not be visited by an angel, surely God is asking you to discern his Spirit, and act on his promptings throughout the year.
Give gifts of Charity
Don’t just give at the end of the year for the tax break, give throughout the year to different charities — maybe even pick a charity of the month — and explain to your family what that charity does and what you as a family can do to help make life better for those in need. It doesn’t always have to be money, but food, clothing and even time! How about cleaning out the closets for a clothing drive, donating toys to a Children’s Hospital to bring joy to the sick kids, or picking up trash in the bringing the recyclable pieces to a recycling center.
Travel like the Holy Family
Vacation time! Don’t forget to bring the Holy Family with you and visit a beautiful Church or Cathedral that you might have never thought of visiting. Research the city your going to or the route there and find treasures of relics or even a hidden grotto’s along the way.
Celebrate with family time
With school and work, and friends and everything that gets in the way, we often neglect our own family. Take a special time (in addition to family dinners), and make a family movie night, or game night, or just a family hike. Anything to spend time together and strengthen the Domestic Church.
Celebrate with extended family time
We often comment about how we only see our extended family at Christmas and funerals. How about change that and see them all year round! Set up a summer picnic, or go for a visit throughout the year.