There is a priest in the Spokane Diocese named Fr. Darrin Connall. On a couple different occasions I have heard him speak about how/when he spends Christmas with his mom and other family members. Because priests typically find themselves quite busy on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, his family will convene for a celebration post-Dec. 25.
The Connall family sets a date during the Christmas Octave (the eight days of Christmas from Dec. 25 – Jan. 1) to gather and open gifts. If you listen to Fr. Connall speak about these occasions, he will always say that they are stress free affairs without the hustle and bustle that usually come with Christmas celebrations that take place either on the eve or actual day.
In the past, we have done the same thing with our Reser Christmas celebration. When my wife and I lived in Myrtle Beach, we tried to visit Spokane for the holidays but would usually arrive after Christmas Day. Thus, my family would have our prime rib dinner and open gifts during that week after Dec. 25. Just like with Fr. Connall’s family, there was always a nice vibe of calmness and relaxation that came with these celebrations
This past Christmas, we had another opportunity to celebrate post-Dec. 25. Only this time around it wasn’t because we were visiting the area after Christmas but rather because we were returning to the area after Christmas…we are true Spokanites now. We departed for South Carolina on Dec. 16 (too early to celebrate before our trip) and didn’t return until January 1. This set the stage for our gathering this past Saturday.
Just like previous late Christmas shindigs, this one was happy and special. The pressure was off and the Yuletide cheer was on. Heck, I even wore my ugly holiday sweater. While much of the world had moved on from Christmas, we got to enjoy one final dose of the most wonderful time of the year. It was a big hit with everyone, especially the kids.
If you ever must celebrate your family Christmas after the actual day, don’t fret. The waiting might seem tough but know that it is worth it. In fact, you will probably want to “delay” Christmas on annual basis from that point on. Don’t Blink.