“Instead of being a time of unusual behavior, Christmas is perhaps the only time in the year when people can obey their natural impulses and express their true sentiments without feeling self-conscious and, perhaps, foolish. Christmas, in short, is about the only chance a man has to be himself.” ~ Francis C. Farley
The Second Day of Christmas is the one that reminds us of unconditional love and perfect dedication. It is the feast day of St. Stephen. We are reminded that love overcomes hatred as evidenced by his legacy left which somewhat troubles the hearts and souls of those who are filled with malice and malcontent. That gift of love left by Stephen haunted his persecutor, Saul of Tarsus, until he could stand it no more. On a dusty road, he saw the light and was forever converted. St. Paul cleared the way for all of us to follow. Love triumphs, Love wins, Love endures.
What a message we receive in these days of Christmas celebration! There is an urge to get it all over with, to pack up the decorations, put away the presents, clean up the mess, and to resume the day-to-day routines. How about if we summon the spirit to resist that temptation right now? Two turtle doves are the symbol of this second day of Christmas. It is the perfect opportunity to think about those little loving creatures who dedicate their entire lives to each other. They are little signs of God’s love; a love which makes no demands and asks no favors and has no strings attached. Think of how unlike that our regular, busy or hum-drum days can be. We require performance from each other. We expect returns for what we give. We keep step with an invisible and arduous drummer telling us to be worthy.
I stand against trying to put Christmas back into storage bins and boxes. Give it up! Settle into the 12 Days and receive a new way of living out the love which is given so freely. Perhaps, even after two thousand years, St.Stephen and St. Paul have personally left each of us with a cleared the way that we might navigate life differently.