Yesterday I wrote an article describing how our family is continuing to celebrate Christmas throughout this Christmas season – and not just on December 25, which is only the beginning of Christmastide.

Many people in our secular world forget that traditionally the Christmas season only begins on December 25, and carries on through the feast of the epiphany on January 6, and even, according to some traditions, until February 2, known as Candlemas, or the feast of the presentation of Jesus in the temple.

Apparently the pope has been thinking about some of the same things. In his Wednesday audience today, Pope Benedict urged those present to “live this Christmas period with intensity.”

The pope said that Christmas is “not only a remembrance of things past, but a joyful experience of Christ’s enduring presence in our lives and in our world.”

“In the liturgical celebrations of these holy days we have experienced, in a way that is mysterious yet real, the Son of God’s entry into the world, and we have once again been illuminated by the light of His splendour. Each celebration is the real presence of the mystery of Christ and a prolongation of the history of salvation”.