I kind of hate New Year's. First of all, I fall into a deep post-Christmas slump most years during this in-between week. The shine of the hyper-commercialized frenzy that is secular Christmas has worn off, the continuous 24-hour Christmas music is pulled abruptly from the local radio station by midnight on December 26th. The kids are stuffed full of sugar, off school for another week, and beginning to tire of their toys. I usually start side-eyeing the Christmas tree around now and wonder to myself, "Is it too grinch-y to pull it down now?"
Not this year. This year I'm asking the Lord to pull me deeper into the liturgical year. I'm praying that I "did" Advent well, better at least than in years past. That I can, therefore, "do" the Christmas season well. That I can lean into the feasting and lead my kids into a prolonged period of joy, which is deeper than happiness and more enduring than excitement.
If I can muster the energy to keep plodding along, maybe they'll follow my lead.
If I can lean over the manger in my heart, so to speak, and remind myself that it's all about the little baby lying there in the straw, and that any post-holiday exhaustion or decor fatigue I might be feeling is my doing, not His, then maybe then I can keep the peace this year. I'm training my eyes on His mother, gathering Him in my heart like she gathered Him in her body, and then in swaddling clothes.
I'm looking to Mary, the Theotokos, and asking for her guidance in this holy season of hush. The world has perhaps moved on from Christmas, and from Christ. But we needn't follow.
If the term "Theotokos" is unfamiliar, take a read at how the Catechism of the Catholic Church explains that title of Mary and her role in general.
Jenny Uebbing is a wife, mother to five, and the author of the blog Mama Needs Coffee where she writes about sex, marriage, and the Catholic Church. She's a freelance writer, a speaker, and an espresso enthusiast. You can find out more about her here.