Beating the Post-Christmas Blues

“Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” – Matthew 2:2

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The Adoration of the Magi, Pieter Aertsen

Many experience what has been described as post-Christmas depression.  For such persons, once December 25th turns to December 26th it may feel like everything fun and exciting is gone, leaving behind disappointment, depression and debt.

While December 25 begins the end of Christmas at the mall, it’s not over so quickly in the Church.  Christmas actually lasts 12 days, beginning with Christmas Eve and ending with Epiphany, which commemorates the visit of the Magi to Jesus.  In some countries Epiphany is the gift-giving feast, while Christmas focuses on the gift of God in Christ — our best present.  Not a bad idea for the North American Church, where for many Black Friday, not Advent, kicks off the holidays.

Perhaps a skiing metaphor will illustrate the importance of the liturgical calendar as it relates to Christmas: With the church calendar, Christmas is like riding the ski lift up one side of a mountain and enjoying the ride down the other side.  Without the church calendar, Christmas can be like riding the ski lift up one side of the mountain and dropping off the other side.

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About Corey Sharpe

Where do we get our beliefs? Three theological perspectives have significantly shaped my Christian identity: Evangelicalism, the early Methodist tradition and liberation theology. From my coming to faith in a Baptist church and throughout my education in a Baptist school and college, I was nurtured by convictions that emphasized a spiritual rebirth, a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the centrality of the Bible. Even when I disagree with certain aspects of evangelicalism, it has deeply influenced my sense of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. My seminary studies spawned my interest in early Methodism, particularly its approach to spiritual formation. Its leaders were convinced that only a foundation of doctrine and discipline would lead to a meaningful transformation of the heart and mind. In other words, having the mind of Christ enables me to be more like Christ. Life in a suburban culture obscures the increasing gap between the poor and rich, as well as the Bible’s close identification with the poor. My doctoral work in socio-cultural context exposed me to liberation theology, which helps me see redemptive history as a history of oppressed groups, written from the perspective of the powerless, about a God who is actively involved with the poor in their struggles. I am now the pastor at Huntingtown United Methodist Church in Calvert County, Maryland. Together my wife and I are raising 4 young theologians.
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4 Responses to Beating the Post-Christmas Blues

  1. Z Breidenbaugh says:

    As a skier, I love your skiing metaphor. And dropping off the other side is NO fun!

  2. Carol says:

    Easter is the day I choose to focus on. Interesting how few do. Not much commercial entanglement there. Or unrealistic expectations.
    My absolute favorite day of the year is Dec. 26, hands down. I am just glad to make it through Christmas!

  3. Janice says:

    I find it very sad that for many people Christmas is over at the end of December 25th. One statement I don’t like to hear is, “I can’t wait until Christmas is over.” Christmas is just the beginning of something wonderful.

  4. Carol says:

    Janice, I absolutely hate all the secular madness that pervades Christmas. I am not the only one, either.
    I can’t understand why everyone goes bonkers with all the expectations of Christmas. The DURATION is totally out of hand, isn’t it?
    We have Christ every day, not just on Christmas Day or during the season.
    Thank goodness!

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