Today, as far as the secular world is concerned, the holidays are over. I'm going back to my job at the university, many of you never even had a holiday break. I imagine downtown Houston will be devoid of Christmas decorations.
And maybe many people are glad it's all over. For many LGBT people, the holidays are particularly stressful. They don't bring cheer but tension-filled get-togethers of obligation. (Okay, not just LGBT people, but that's been my focus here this season.)
Possibly all LGBT people have had to endure a subtly (or not so much) demeaning interaction with family, old friends, workmates . . . maybe not this season (I've been lucky!) but in Christmases past and the potential exists in the future.
But it's no longer in the immediate future.
Today, shifting back into "ordinary time" (as the Roman Catholics would have it), we may be experiencing the regular stuff of life, but I would invite you to keep with you the knowledge that it's still Christmas. Even if no one else around you acknowledges this with you, perhaps a secret day of Christmas will help you recover from the stress of the days just past.
I would invite you to remember the Incarnation of Christ---and how this sanctifies and makes your own flesh holy.
I would invite you to do something, even the tiniest thing, for yourself as an eleventh day of Christmas gift. Something that will bring you some bit of delight. A piece of candy that you don't have often. A drink from the coffee shop that is more than you usually allow yourself. Put on your most comfortable shoes. You know what will help you celebrate Christmas. Let this little pleasure remind you of blessing of your physical self.
I would invite you find a moment to look yourself in the mirror at some point, remember that the Christmas story tells us that God took on flesh like yours, looked no more or less extraordinary than you do right now. Be in awe of this. Tell your reflection "Merry Christmas."
Silly things, perhaps, but something to make you smile, to help you redeem Christmas in these last days.
Do it today. Repeat tomorrow. Christmas is almost over. Don't let it pass without some bit of wonder and joy.