In the center of my Advent wreath is a tall white pillar. It’s the Christ Candle, and it makes my wreath glow with a friendly light.

lighting the christ candle

It makes me think of the host of angels lighting up the sky that first Christmas night. It reminds me that Jesus was the light of the world and that, if I let him in, he will use me as a light to others.

Christ lights up the season.

For years, a favorite aunt included various pins and stickers with the phrase “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” on them in our stockings or on our gifts.

He is the reason for the season, isn’t he? He’s the light at the middle of the Advent wreath and the baby who brings everyone together for a big celebration—even people who don’t believe in him!

Christmas is a season.

Though Advent seems to slip through my fingers every year, no matter how much I try to stretch it out, Christmas is even worse. Everyone else is taking down their decorations and I’ve only just gotten started!

The octave of Christmas—the eight days from December 25 to January 1—is a time of special graces in my life. Not only do I celebrate the birth of my Savior, I celebrate my entry into motherhood, as my oldest child was born on January 1.

I’ve found myself linked in a special way with Mary during the Christmas season because of this, and I can’t help but marvel at that baby of hers even more.

Jesus’ birth wasn’t just about a baby boy being born in a cold stable a few thousand years ago. It was also part of God’s fulfillment of a promise.

God keeps his promises.

Whether you keep your halls decked and listen to carols through mid-January, don’t forget to tap into the season you’ve been preparing for all through Advent. Embrace Christmas as more than just a day and fill it with more than just presents.

Open yourself to the Holy Spirit and pray for the grace to say Yes to the inconvenience and wonder of Christmas all year long.

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Copyright 2013 Sarah Reinhard