The holidays are over. The Christmas decorations have mostly been taken down, save for a few hold outs that don’t seem to quite get around to them. And “Happy New Year!” already seems just as odd as writing 2020. We have answered questions about “How was your Christmas?” and “Did you get everything you wanted for Christmas?” often enough to tire of both.
In fact, I suspect that by now at least some of us are beginning to feel the inevitable let down of the “after holiday rush.” Heavens! The post Christmas sales are already over.
But in looking at my calendar upcoming, I already notice Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. And in my religious tradition, the Feast of Candlemas is close behind.
And whatever our political or religious communities, the one feast day that truly unites all Americans is just on the horizon: The Day of the Conquest of America by the NFL, otherwise known as Super Bowl Sunday.
And that is as it should be. One holiday season wears us out, and just like that, another is within view, coming like a freight train. Spring break won’t be far behind, then school graduations, and the summer in it’s wake. For perhaps there is a lesson for us all in the continual train of celebrations, holidays, holy days, and days off from work.
What if the holidays are not the interruption of real life, the workaday pursuits of our mundane activities? What if the holidays are not just markers of the calendar turning, but the very purpose for the various callings and vocations that we all follow? What if the whole point of life is not work — as important and needful as it may be — but the celebration of all that is good and wonderful and special and joyful in life?
Like many Christian clergy, I’m more than a tad familiar with the notion of sin and the fact that this world is not all as it should be. But the continual parade of holidays does bring to mind something else. That life is meant to be celebrated. We are meant to use the good china, the fine crystal, the wonderful, prized possessions of life, in our everyday life.
What if the whole point of life is not the work which supports the holidays, but the holidays that bring focus and meaning to the whole of the work life? What if the parade of holidays is what it’s all about?