Is This the End of the Christmas Season or the Beginning?

Guido Reni, Adoration of the Shepherds (detail) (17th c.)

That’s the question that I’m exploring over on Word on Fire. A brief taste:

For the world, what we’ve just gone through was the Christmas season, and it’s tied to (at best) being nice, and making time for family and friends, or (at worst) non-stop marketing, shopping, and fighting off loneliness and despair with a credit card. 

This Thursday marks the end of the world’s Christmas season, because this is the climax of their efforts. This is the day when we come together and share all of those presents, and where we take some time off of work to be with our families. Once the presents are opened, and our families have started to annoy us again, it’s back to our ordinary routines. Santa Claus, the central figure of this Christmas, is already gone by Christmas morning. 

But for the Church, this Thursday should mark a beginning, not an end. It marks Christ’s advent into the world where, for the first time, we could behold the Savior of the World in the Flesh, as the rich and the poor, the Magi and the shepherds alike, fall to their knees. The period we just went through wasn’t the Christmas season, because Christ hadn’t come yet.  It was the Advent season, in which we’ve prepared for Christ’s coming.

Merry Christmas!


  1. Right on, Joe. And I think it’s significant that the season starts with a birthday party, kind of like a marriage starts with a party, or entrance to the Church starts with a Baptism party. But all these are just the start of going and growing — if we take the time to focus, and learn.

  2. Christmas begins wit the nativity of our Lord and ends with the purification of Mary Feb 2 – forty days

    However, when the Church opened herself to the world, the world took over the church and so it is only the traditionalist Catholic who keeps these truths alive.

    Feb 2 is ground hog day for the VAST majority of Catholics and it does not help at all for the Pope to tell us of his new years resolutions for that is just a continuing surrender to secularism and its wholly Christophobic days

    How much better would out be for he and other members of the prelature to talk about the 40 days of Christmas and all of the Feasts within that span of 40 days.

    Man is STARVING for the truth but who in the Church is telling him about the Calendar of the Catholic Church?

    1. Joe,

      What are you talking about? New Year’s Day isn’t some modernist invention. The Medievals embraced it, and it’s fitting that the year should begin on the day that Christ “became a Jew” in a Legal sense, through circumcision. I understand why we should celebrate the Christmas season, but how does that equate to being against New Year’s resolutions?



  3. MJ is writing about the worldliness of the modern popes and the church. The Catholic Church is opposed to the world, right?

    How is the world expected to learn about what the Catholic Church is and what its purpose is – Sanctification and Salvation – if we are constantly speaking in worldy categories.

    If our modern Popes not only told the world what their new year’s intentions are but also what the Church is and its purpose, that would be one thing but that is not what happens and we both know it. One can find innumerable examples of modern popes engaging the secular world on its terms but extremely rare is an instance where the modern Popes have taught the world what the church is and what its purpose is and the necessity of the world to convert to this Church if they desire Samctification and Salvation.

    In fact, MJ is the same age as Israel and he has never heard a modern pope speak about the church and its purpose and the necessity of conversion – and certainly the bishop of rome has not done so

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