So what do we do now?
I might be wrong. But I have a theory about Christmas.
The way we do it is an attempt to bring God’s promised new world into this broken one.
The beauty and ‘magic’ that we look for in the festive build-up speaks to us from another place. The peace and goodwill are whispers from a different world - one without sin.
The no-expense-spared food and drink sound like Jesus’ description of the heavenly feast (Luke 14:1-24). The gifts we ask for promise us the unending joy that only God’s new world will provide.
Who can blame us? Life can be pretty bland without the annual breaking in of something better.
But it certainly sets us up for a hefty comedown.
There’s no reality-check quite like waking up on Boxing Day to a sink full of dirty pans. Or that headache which reminds you of the excess and guilt of the night before.
Before long, it becomes clear that our presents aren’t going to change our lives. The peace and goodwill has made way for tension and arguments as family stick around.
The weird time between Christmas and New Year sends out a pretty strong message: the hope of Christmas bringing in God’s promised world has failed.
And come Wednesday 2 January, life will go back to what it always was. Does that sound pretty bleak? Well, it doesn’t have to be.
There was nothing wrong with allowing the joy of God’s new world to pierce this one. But make the most of the post-Christmas blues.
Let the comedown point you to our future hope which won’t come to an end.
When we arrive there – the place Christmas always pointed to – the food will keep coming, the wine will keep flowing, the Giver will keep giving, and peace and goodwill will never end (Psalm 23:5).