Christmas lasts longer than one day

By Curtis Shelburne: Local Columnist

I’m afraid that in the first column I write after Christmas Day each year I’m beginning to sound like Johnny One-note, but I’ll risk it again as I remind you that Christmas is not over once Christmas Day is over.

Now I can easily see why tired to the bone shopkeepers and mall-weary shoppers would heave a sigh of relief late in the evening on Christmas Eve and send up a prayer of thanksgiving that they’ve managed to survive the Christmas shopping season for one more year.

But, in point of fact, in the Christian calendar, the season of preparation for the Birth, Advent (which has to do with the “coming” of Christ) leads us right up to Dec. 25 and the Christmas season is just beginning on Christmas Day. And the season lasts for (you guessed it!) twelve days.

If Christmas for you is just “Santa Claus” and “Jingle Bells” and largely artificial light, well, I can understand if you want to just forget about the real “season” and only think about the twelve days when someone trots out the song.

Okay, I remember the “five golden rings” and the “partridge in a pear tree,” but was it “seven maids a-milking” and “nine drummers drumming”? I forget.

I love Christmas and just about everything about it. And that includes “Santa Claus” and “Jingle Bells” and all sorts of lights and candles and tinsel and egg nog and the whole thing. And I’m a bigger kid than anybody in my family, I think. I love Dickens’ Christmas Carol and during Christmas I often read the story to the kids or anybody I can get to listen. I’ve got on video tape the 1940-something movie version and the George C. Scott version, and I’ll watch any of those (and the Patrick Stewart version and now even the Kelsey Grammar version) so often that my family just rolls their eyes whenever they see me putting the tape in.

I love Christmas! And I’m convinced that for people of faith who know and celebrate the real reason for the season, even the lights and the tinsel and everything from reindeer to mistletoe really take on new and deeper colors of joy because of the joy of his birth. Maybe that’s why I hate to see the real season short-changed, and I plan to whistle Christmas carols for the whole twelve days — even if I’m whistling in the wind and hardly anybody is listening!

Curtis Shelburne is pastor of 16th & Ave. D. Church of Christ in Muleshoe. Contact him at