Saturday, December 25, 2010

Wishing You a Joyous Christmastide!


I wish you a Merry Christmas, a Joyous First Day of Christmastide!!

For the last ten years, our family has celebrated Christmastide, the Twelve Day Festival of Christmas. We keep all the Christmas decorations up until Epiphany on January 6, and the Christmas music doesn't stop playing around our house until Twelfth Night, January 5.

I mean, who can jam all the fun and joy of Christmas into a single day? We need twelve days to totally relax, hang out as a family, do fun things together, and celebrate the birth of our Risen Lord!!

In light of celebrating Christmastide, I post for you the beautiful carol penned by the American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (whom we happen to be studying in our home school). "Christmas Bells" was composed during the American Civil War and questions whether God is truly present, given the great loss of life in wartime. The hope and joy of the closing of the carol makes my heart truly sing:

"Christmas Bells" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said;
"For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men."

Wishing you a joyous First Day of Christmastide!

With a merry heart,

2 comments:

K.M. Weiland said...

I agree with you on "jamming all the fun of Christmas into a single day." I've yet to celebrate the twelve days of Christmas, but the whole month of December is usually pretty festive around here. It's one of my favorite months.

Susanne Barrett said...

Yes, December is festive 'round here, too. I love Advent: evening Bible readings and prayer gathered around the flickering candles of our Advent wreath is one of my favorite activities of the entire year. And then Christmastide: with all the preparations finished, it's PLAYTIME!!! :)

I really love celebrating all Twelve Days! Today is Holy Innocents' Day (remembering the male children slaughtered in Bethlehem and children lost to abortion now); yesterday was the Feast of Saint John; Sunday was Saint Stephen's Day. So many things to remember and celebrate!

THanks for your post, K.M.! :)

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