It’s over. Christmas is done. Anyone tempted to take the tree down? Oh, the kids are still out of school and maybe there’s still family to visit, but for so many people these are the days when the blahs strike. The anticipation has been building since Halloween and maybe the day met your expectations–or maybe it didn’t. Regardless this is the, “what now?” moment before New Year’s crashes in on us.
Well, there’s a song for that. Good King Wenceslas was the king of Bohemia during the 10th century. You’ve probably heard his song–a Christmas carol. Except there’s no mention of Christ and the song is about the day after Christmas, also known as the Feast of St. Stephen. It’s about a king–a rich ruler–seeing a poor man and reaching out to help him. And better still, the king encourages his struggling servant in helping the poor.
Hmmmm. Sounds right to me. Sounds like a lovely way to spend the days after Christmas–reaching out to help someone. You could:
- Clean out your closets and donate good, gently used items to a charity.
- Speaking of charities–there’s still time to give financially before the end of the year.
- Volunteer–at the animal shelter, a nursing home, a children’s home, a food pantry, your church–options are plentiful!
- Write a note to someone . . . on paper . . . and mail it.
- We’ve all eaten too many sweets–make a pot of chicken soup and take it to someone who could use a pick-me-up.
- Call your grandmother, or mother, or uncle, or cousin, or–well–you get the idea.
- Write a book review to cheer your favorite author (really, these are HUGELY cheering!).
- Tell someone you love them. Maybe several someone’s.
And just in case you don’t know all the lyrics to the song, here’s your after-Christmas inspiration. It definitely sounds like it could be set in the hills of West Virginia to me!
Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the feast of Stephen
When the snow lay round about
Deep and crisp and even
Brightly shone the moon that night
Though the frost was cruel
When a poor man came in sight
Gath’ring winter fuel
“Hither, page, and stand by me
If thou know’st it, telling
Yonder peasant, who is he?
Where and what his dwelling?”
“Sire, he lives a good league hence
Underneath the mountain
Right against the forest fence
By Saint Agnes’ fountain.”
“Bring me flesh and bring me wine
Bring me pine logs hither
Thou and I will see him dine
When we bear him thither.”
Page and monarch forth they went
Forth they went together
Through the rude wind’s wild lament
And the bitter weather.
“Sire, the night is darker now
And the wind blows stronger
Fails my heart, I know not how,
I can go no longer.”
“Mark my footsteps, my good page
Tread thou in them boldly
Thou shalt find the winter’s rage
Freeze thy blood less coldly.”
In his master’s steps he trod
Where the snow lay dinted
Heat was in the very sod
Which the Saint had printed
Therefore, Christian men, be sure
Wealth or rank possessing
Ye who now will bless the poor
Shall yourselves find blessing.