Christmas is a short twelve day season of the church year that begins on Christmas Day. But contained within those twelve days are many important historic texts – and themes – for the Christian life. Christmas Eve highlights the nativity of our Lord. Christmas Day presents to us the Word incarnate. The Sunday after Christmas shows us God’s protection with the flight into Egypt. This day also is often used as “Holy Infants” day, the day of remembrance for the first Christian martyrs; the many babies who died at Herod’s sword because of Christ (the proper day for this remembrance is December 28). After this we celebrate the naming and circumcision of Christ eight days after his birth on January 1, or commonly on the second Sunday after Christmas. This is the day that the God and Savior of the Universe, even as a tiny helpless infant, first shed His blood on our behalf. Other observances in Christmas season are St. Stephen, the Martyr on December 26 and St. John, Apostle & Evangelist on December 27. As such, the three days after Christmas are all martyr days.
The main icon for the Christmas season is the manger, the humble feeding trough that held the creator of the universe.