“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach! ”

— Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

“And it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One!”
— Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
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Celebrate All 12 Days!

I often daydream that before I publish the final daily Advent post (just as I do when I'm writing the Lent Daybook posts) I'll hear a trumpet and see Christ descending from the sky, returning to once and for all make all things new. If this does not happen before Christmas Day, we are given the responsibility to celebrate as if He did. This is no postscript to Advent; this is the Main Event! It's time to pull out the stops, and take on the holy calling of Feasting!

In the past few years, I've written a couple of posts about how our family has learned, failed, and learned again how to keep Christmas well.

12 Ways to Savor the 12 Days of Christmas

Family Liturgies For Christmas & My Mama's Rule For Feasting

Christmas Confessions From An Exhausted Dad {Brian's guest post}

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While we feast, we savor!

You'd think the celebrating part would be easier than the waiting. Like all other spiritual practices, though, celebration comes with its own comforts and challenges. How do we stay present to the feast without our underdeveloped senses dulling too quickly?  How do we keep a soft, pliable grasp on the delights of Christmas, rather than trying to pin the legs of the thing down into some sort of worn-out wonder?

I don't know.  I've only just begun to ask the question.

Because of Christ's first coming, and in anticipation for his second, our waiting -- good, bad, or ugly -- turns to celebration. Between what we've learned about waiting during Advent, and anticipating the feasting of Christmastide, we hope to walk through these days thoughtfully, joyfully, and graciously.  

All of this leads to the Great Festival of Christmastide - a prolonged feasting that lasts twelve whole days.  As with Advent, we've learned a lot about how to live this celebration liturgically. (I've written about it here: 12 Ways to Practice 12 Days of Christmas )

ILLUSTRATIONS FOR A CHRISTMAS CAROL BY YELENA BRYKSENKOVA (SOURCE)

ILLUSTRATIONS FOR A CHRISTMAS CAROL BY YELENA BRYKSENKOVA (SOURCE)

Christmas Daybook posts

Some years I have every post planned and written a month ahead of time, and some years I post as often as I'm able. Some years I lose track of the calendar altogether! Here's what the last few years have looked like:

Christmas Daybook 2017 - We spent (almost) 12 days with some of my favorite Christmas short film & video clips.

Christmas Daybook 2016 - We spent Christmastide with the good, old theologian/British mystery writer/ Christmas elf, G.K. Chesterton - one essay or poem a day from his out-of-print anthology The Spirit of Christmas.

Christmas Daybook 2015 - Even though I only made it through the first five days of Christmastide because we were in full-on preparation for our son's January 2, 2016 wedding, we followed the same [Look.Listen.Pray.Do.] outline as the Advent and Lent Daybook posts. 

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