Sometimes I think we Americans could do with a little lesson from other countries, who start their celebrations of Christmas on Dec. 24 and don't really stop until Epiphany. Instead of having to do *everything* on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, we could spread things out a bit. Actually, in years in which we traveled to family in Indiana, we spread the holiday out over at least a week, doing our own gift giving on New Year's Day. It runs really counter to the culture, though. It's hard to maintain the Christmas atmosphere when the neighbors have already hauled their dried up, tinsel-trailing trees to the curb for pickup. But our tree is still up and lit and will remain so until the kids go back to school...which is a couple of days before Twelfth Night. I can ignore the trees in the gutter, but back to school just can't be denied.
But, for the next 9 days, we'll be doing family time...which is really a great way to celebrate Christmas, anyway.