Afterglow!

candles-christmas-glowChristmas Day has been and gone. The glory and sparkle of the day can disappear just as quickly, and can leave us feeling a bit blue in the following days.

So how can we truly savour the time between Christmas and New Year, and let the glow of Christmas continue on in our hearts and homes?

Each Christmas season I get out Thomas Kinkade’s Christ the Light of the World devotional. It’s one book that really helps my heart prepare Him room, and not get completely caught up in the busyness and pressures of the season. It finishes on New Year’sChrist the Light of the World Day with a devotional on shining into the new year.

I particularly love the devotional entitled Afterglow.

Thomas Kinkade mentions that in the West are culture is very much focused on do, do, do; rather than allowing times to just be. For most of us December in particular is filled with a lot of to-dos! Shopping, wrapping, preparing, carol services, school plays and parties to organise and/or attend. After Christmas though can be a time to just “be”.

It can be a day you particularly set aside. Or maybe you can have several days to enjoy it. But savouring the afterglow of Christmas is well worth it.

Since having this devotional my family have especially made a point of savouring the afterglow of Christmas. Usually it’s Boxing Day. There are other times we carve out during the week leading up to New Year’s Day for “being” but Boxing Day is the day we set aside particularly. (Last year due to circumstances, our Afterglow day didn’t happen, and I really missed it!)

So how can we savour the Afterglow of Christmas?

Taking time as a family to enjoy the gifts you’ve been given. If you are a family of readers, then put on the Christmas music low (instrumental preferably) and switch on the Christmas lights. Then, either one of you reads aloud for all to hear and enjoy, or maybe Familyyou just all sit on cushions, sofa, chairs and curl up to enjoy reading your own book yourself, but still enjoy the company of family.

If you are an art and craft family then again, either do a joint project together, or each make their own creation but doing it in the company of family where you can laugh and chat together. Maybe you are a family who enjoys doing a jigsaw. You could do that together, especially if someone got a new jigsaw as a gift.

If children received new toys they want to play with, then get together in the family room (or outside if the toys are outdoor ones!) and either play together, or have several different games going on at the same time. You as parents, grandparents, uncles and aunties can either join in the actual playing with them or just sit on the sofa and watch them play, maybe doing a crossword puzzle or a sewing/knitting project. Maybe you can do a bit of both. Join in with them for a little while, then sit back and watch.

If you are an outdoors family then do something together you all enjoy – a game of football; walk/cycle in the park, countryside or on the beach; sailing or even skiing!

In the afternoon we usually sit down and watch a film together, either one that someone received for Christmas or an old favourite.

It’s the time of being together and not having to “do” anything in particular, or “go” anywhere by a certain time. It’s a day (or days) to relax and savour the joy of family and gifts.

It’s a time that will last in your memories, and will become a time you and your family truly treasure!

~ Wendy Sparkes ~

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