Today we celebrate the Holy Family, which falls within the Octave of Christmas. In the church calendar, only Christmas and Easter get an octave. An octave is the eight day celebration of that feast, so for Christmas Day and for a full week we are celebrating Christmas Day. We do the same thing during Easter week. For eight days in a row the day takes on the full solemnity that principal Feast whether it’s Christmas or Easter.
Christmas and Easter represent the two most astounding claims of the Christian faith, and each of these feasts, these claims, are preceded by a long period of preparation. On Christmas we make the astounding claim that God became Man. The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. No other religion claims that God became Man. We are given the period of Advent to prepare ourselves to accept and to celebrate this radical claim of our faith.