If only. If only we could make a bigger deal of celebrating the Twelve Days of Christmas (December 25 – January 5). My tree and all my decorations are still up. My crèche is placed in a spot where I can see it as soon as I come into the kitchen. I like this time of the Christmas season. There is more time to enjoy your decorations and revel in the beauty of the lights glowing on the tree when the room is darkened. I have the time to leisurely read through the many Christmas cards we received. It is all over too soon.
Many years ago, when Frank and I were first married, we had to make some changes in how we celebrated Christmas. At first I felt cheated out of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day — it just didn’t seem fair that we did not have the kids with us until late Christmas Day. Our “Christmas morning” fell on December 26th. After a few years of this, I began to realize that Frank was right. Christmas is, after all, a season, not a day or two days. Over the years, as the kids have grown, Frank and I have experimented with different traditions. Through all of our experimentation, however, one thing remains the same. On the morning of December 26th, all of our children and grandchildren descend on us for brunch and gift giving. In fact, our kids spend the entire day here – a late supper, games and storytelling. It is wonderful!
And then, if it is up to me (and I work hard at this), we get most of our kids and some close friends over on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. That’s the way I remember the celebrations of my childhood. We were at my grandma’s every day from Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day. It was a full week of celebration.
That takes me back to the Twelve Days of Christmas. I guess it was my father who instilled in me the idea of keeping the Twelve Days and remembering the Epiphany, or as he called it, “Little Christmas.” Chuck, my brother, has started a tradition around Little Christmas – I’ll have to find out more about it this year.
In the meantime, I have two days left before the Epiphany and one more chance perhaps to watch “The Nativity” DVD I own. May the spirit of Christmas stay with me and all of you for many days to come.