12 Days of Christmas & How they Set You Free

12 days of Christmas & how they set you free | naturallyjmharris.comPhoto credit to the amazing Mari Feitosa (website & facebook)

Merry Christmas!

Is it really Christmas Eve Eve?  Despite the abnormally warm weather, we’ve been cozy-ing up and are so ready for our first Christmas in our new home. I feel that I have let so much go this year and it has been truly freeing. We’ve made space for the activities we wanted to do (homemade gifts, driving to look at Christmas lights, Christmas movies, tree cutting & decorating) & let go others that we don’t have the time or energy for.

Whenever Christmas begins to burden, its a sign that I’ve taken on something of the world, and not of Christ. -Ann Voskamp

I wanted to fill you in on one of the reasons why I’ve not been rushing to fit in everything Christmas-ey – the 12 Days of Christmas.  The 12 Days of Christmas are, I feel, a somewhat little-known event on the church calendar. Everyone has heard of Advent & maybe even Epiphany, but there seems to be plenty of confusion about what the 12 days of Christmas are and when they occur. However, whether or not you follow the church calendar, I believe observing them can be both freeing and something to treasure with your family or in your heart.

Simply put – the 12 days of Christmas (which begin on Christmas and end 12 days later, this year Jan 5) are space to reflect on the reality of the incarnation in our lives – Christ made flesh and born among us. Each day has an activity/ tradition associated with it, which you can read more about here if you’re interested. I don’t do those activities, but I do take the opportunity to treasure Christmas in my heart a little longer.  Advent is the expectation of the coming King, then we have the 12 days of Christmas, & then Epiphany, which sends us out into the world to live out the mystery of the incarnation in our daily lives.

SO. What does this mean for me?

[tweetthis]It means observing the ways the fullness of Christ seeps into every corner of our everyday lives.[/tweetthis]

It means our Christmas tree isn’t coming down the day after Christmas. It means carving out space for reflection. It means observing the ways the fullness of Christ seeps into every corner of our everyday lives. It even means continuing with Christmas celebrations, like cookie baking and party hosting, knowing that those activities can shift my heart’s focus to the importance of this time of year & the value of those around me. It means if you were to come to my house, I’d have my Christmas lights plugged in and some food or wine for us to share because Christ invites us to commune with him as we do the ordinary.

For from his fullness we have all received grace upon grace. -John 1:16

So for these last two days of Christmas, I want you to step back & give yourself grace for what has been left undone, and know that come Christmas, there are still 12 more days. Merry Christmas to you & yours!

the 12 days of christmas & how they set you free | naturallyjmharris.com

 

 

5 thoughts on “12 Days of Christmas & How they Set You Free

  1. Thank you for this! I actually feel better about all of my Christmas decor still being up :). I absolutely love this: “It means observing the ways the fullness of Christ seeps into every corner of our everyday lives.” Amen. What a beautiful focus!

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  2. I love how your are your husband are creating your own traditions, and I love how purposeful you are about it. I never even knew the 12 days of Christmas started ON Christmas!!!

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  3. I love how you and your husband are creating your own traditions and how purposeful you are about selecting them. And I had no idea that the 12 days of Christmas actually starts ONbChristmas!

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