The Gregorian Institute Shield, composed of the crossed gold and silver keys of the Papal Insignia, an open book with the words 'Via Veritas Vita' ('The Way, the Truth, and the Life') written on its pages, three golden six-sided stars on a red banner, and a Germanic cross.

at BENEDICTINE COLLEGE

‘Our House Has a Secret’: Prayer For Putting Christmas Away

Catholics have different strategies for putting Christmas decorations away, but it is always a bittersweet day.

Some choose the Octave Day of Christmas, January 1. Some choose January 6, the feast of the Epiphany. Others wait all the way until the last feast of the infancy of Christ — the Presentation, February 2.

As our house returns to normal — for us on the last day of the liturgical Christmas Season, the feast of the Baptism of Christ (January 13 this year) — we pray this prayer. I have printed it out and hung it on the attic door as a reminder all year long.

Prayer for Putting Away Christmas Decorations

Lord Jesus, today we have put all of our Christmas decorations away. We are entering into Ordinary Time, and our house looks “ordinary” again, too.

But Lord, you know and we know that our house has a secret. Deep inside it, all of our Christmas decorations are still here. The blessing of Christmas is always with us, kept in the deep, quiet places of the house.

And Lord, our lives will become ordinary again, too, but you know that each of us has the grace of baptism. The grace you gave us is always with us, in the deep, quiet places of our soul.

May we live the grace of Christmas every day, only without all the trappings: May we always give generously, receive gifts gratefully, welcome others, and study your life.

May our house be a home with Christmas at its core, and our souls a home where Jesus always dwells.

Amen.

This appeared at Aleteia.

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Tom Hoopes

Tom Hoopes, author of The Rosary of Saint John Paul II, The Fatima Family Handbook and What Pope Francis Really Said, is writer in residence at Benedictine College in Kansas. A former reporter in the Washington, D.C., area, he served as press secretary of the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee Chairman and spent 10 years as executive editor of the National Catholic Register newspaper and Faith & Family magazine. He writes weekly for the National Catholic Register and Aleteia. His work frequently appears in Catholic publications such as Catholic Digest. He lives in Atchison, Kansas, with his wife, April, and has nine children.