Skip Navigation

Topic: Advent and Christmas

The Star of Bethlehem, a watercolor by Edward Burne-Jones, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The Star of Bethlehem, watercolor by Edward Burne-Jones, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

Although we are accustomed to celebrating Christmas on a single day, in both Christian tradition and on the Church calendar, the Christmas season lasts sundown on December 24 (Christmas Eve) through Epiphany of the Lord (January 6). This is sometimes popularly referred to as "the twelve days of Christmas." As Taylor Burton-Edwards notes, the Christmas Season "begins with the birth of Jesus and gives us two full weeks to encounter the extraordinary love, threats, dangers and opportunities God's Incarnation [in the birth of Jesus] set off then and still sets off today." 

God entered our world, not as a conqueror but an infant, demonstrating the depth of God's love — and a radical vision of peace and love — for all creation. 

Features
View More»
Christmas decorations, like this simple nativity scene, help us celebrate the season. Photo by Freely Photos.

Celebrate the season: 12 ideas for the 12 days of Christmas

December 25th is not the end, but the time to begin celebrating Jesus' birth. Make the season more meaningful with creative, yet simple, ideas. Read More

The magi follow the star in this sixth-century mosaic at the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare near Ravenna, Italy. Photo by Nina-no, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

What was the star of Bethlehem?

Some astronomers have speculated it was a planetary conjunction, a nova or some other celestial body. Nick Strobel has his own ideas. Read More

Kevin John “Kejo” Maddela stands with another youth leader at Christmas Institute 2012 in the Philippines. Photo courtesy of Kevin John Maddela.

Philippines’ Christmas Institute helps youth find gifts

Young people spend the days after Christmas in a retreat geared just for them. “It is a remake of the heart-warming experience of John Wesley.” More

Erlöserkirche United Methodist Church in Bremen, Germany welcomed refugees to weekly gatherings that included a meal together. Photo courtesy of Bishop Rosemarie Wenner.

Welcoming the stranger: Lessons from the refugee crisis in Europe

Seeing strangers from seven nations become friends over a meal has been one of many blessings received by those reaching out to refugees. Read More