We have all heard the song. But most of us spend 40 days (or more) preparing and then celebrate only one day of Christmas. I used to be one who dismantled the tree and put away the decorations on December 26. But over the years I came to understand and embrace the meaning of Christmastide. Now my tree stays up at least until Epiphany (January 6) and I enjoy the last few days of an old calendar year and the beginning of a new. This is my diary of the just past 12 Days of Christmas.
On the First Day of Christmas (December 25) my youngest son and I spend a quiet day exchanging gifts and enjoying each other’s company.
On the Second Day of Christmas I confess I visit the stores, buy another gift and mail a package to a grand who won’t make it to Grandma’s house this year. (I know — I should have done all that already.)
On the Third Day of Christmas I drive over the (Arkansas) river and through the (Saline County) woods to spend the day at Couchwood, home of my BFF.
On the Fourth Day of Christmas I watch the movie The Nativity. This has become one of my Christmas traditions.
On the Fifth Day of Christmas (Sunday, December 29) I lead the Adult Bible Study for the Wesleyan Seekers, my Sunday School class, the story of Mary and Joseph taking the infant Jesus to the temple for dedication. The aged Simeon recognized the baby as the promised Messiah.
On the Sixth Day of Christmas I welcome with joy my eldest daughter, the first of the holiday guests to arrive.
On the Seventh Day of Christmas (December 31) five more children and grands arrive, making our total 8. We exchange gifts, eat pizza and party food and finally toast the new year, 2014.
On the Eighth Day of Christmas we gather for brunch, asking God’s blessings on the absent family members, thanking Him for His love, for family and all our blessings.
On the Ninth Day of Christmas, all is quiet in the house. Everyone has gone to their home or back to work. I try on a new sweatshirt, peruse a new book, watch a new dvd, take a nap.
On the Tenth Day of Christmas my sister and I visit a friend whose sister (who was also our friend) has passed away.
On the Eleventh Day of Christmas I have mincemeat pie for breakfast and spend time reflecting on 2013 and setting goals (not resolutions) for the coming year.
On the Twelfth Day of Christmas (Today, January 5) I gather with my church family to worship God who sent his Son to earth to be our counselor, guide, friend and Savior.
Tomorrow, January 6, is Epiphany, a remembrance of the coming of the Magi and an indication that this child was born for every race and culture. As our pastor said this morning, “The Wise Men found Jesus. It was worth the trip.”