The sixth night of Christmas in the drowsy Midwest is perfectly cold (the kind of cold that bites into one’s bones) and beautifully snowy (the kind of snow that reflects in the night).
Christmas lights still flicker throughout the neighborhoods.
Christmas trees still stand, bare under the bottom branches.
Christmas cards pile high, some opened, some read, some set aside.
Christmas seasonal sections are swept aside – February 14th looms large.
Christmas music (except perhaps in the most festive of homes) is quiet.
Christmas leftovers are gone, chewed, swallowed, eaten right up.
Christmas – the extravaganza – has run its course and been boxed up for another year. We are now more interested in the wintry weather than the incarnated arrival.
But Christmas – the birth of Christ, the arrival of Emmanuel – has only just begun. It is less than one week old.
At six days old, a babe is still just an infant.
At six days in, Christmas is still just a breath – the first breath of good news, of real life, of God with us, of infinite breaths to come.
Breathe in the cold air. Feel it cleanse your lungs, freeze your worry, and clear your soul.
Look at the snow. See it blink in the night, light the dark, and dance in the wind.
And then start celebrating Christmas again, for infinite breaths to come.