The Day After Christmas

It’s now been two holiday seasons that I’ve spent away from my beloved hometown, my people, my home churches, and so many things that I hold dear. Not that Christmas was a huge deal before I moved… growing up with extended family out of state and two sisters that are quite a few years older, the family gathering part of December 25th has never been all that significant for me.

The other thing that makes the day so special? The fact that we get to celebrate the gift of baby Jesus, come down for us as a human, to fulfill the law and redeem us as His children.

So two days ago as I was able to begin my day with Christmas morning worship, I was thinking about all of this and reflecting on why Christmas often just isn’t… special. It’s not this big deal, YAY JESUS, extra excitement just a few times a year kind of day. Not that the day isn’t incredible, that the gift of baby Jesus is one to overlook. It’s more just that, for me, it’s not really MORE special than most other days. Anyone who knows me well can tell you that I try and live my life in a way that every day is a YAY JESUS kind of day.

Over the last year and a half now I’ve had no choice but to do everything in my power to remember that awe and wonder found on Christmas morning as much as I possibly can. The joy and gratitude we find on Christmas… it’s something that happens for me all throughout the year. After all, when God comes in for an impossible rescue and then continues to prove Himself faithful again and again and again… it’s hard to avoid the joy.

My writing doesn’t often take the form of more structured poetry, but as I drove home from work on Friday night the idea for this poem came to me. As soon as I got home I sat down to write it all out, and I hope and pray that it can serve as a reminder to all of us that the celebration and hope of Christmas can happen the other 364 days, too.

“The Day After Christmas”
an original poem

The day after Christmas
Say goodbye to the cheer
But why must we celebrate
Just one day a year?

The carols are beautiful
Church services, too
But once that’s behind us
Must we forget You?

I’m not talking about buildings
Or sharing what we saw
Or even just worship
But excitement… and awe

It’s no secret life is hard
All our dreams torn asunder
But this Jesus we celebrate
Can revive them with wonder

With liberty for the captives
Good news for the poor
Broken hearts become comforted
And yet – there’s still more…

A bright light in the darkness
That breaks chains of the slaves
And the hardest of hearts?
He can raise from their graves!

So while one day is special
December 25th every year
All the other days, let’s remember
This baby Jesus is always near

His birth was so marvelous
Yet so humble, so mild
Through the year He is with us
Our Lord, the Christ child

If we treat all days like Christmas
Not with carols or special meals
We might meet a God so real
One who rescues, one who heals

So let’s celebrate on Christmas
As we will always do
But what if we ALWAYS celebrate
The God who makes us new?

Our lives may not be easy
And trials might still destroy
But the gift of Jesus Christ our King
Will turn sorrows into joy