Twelfth Night

Today is the twelfth day of Christmas, which makes tonight the Twelfth Night. This is the first year we have actually observed 12 days of Christmas by doing simple things like using our 12 Days of Christmas plates and cups and leaving our Christmas decorations up until tomorrow when Epiphany marks the end of the Christmas season.

From December 2010

We have been making an effort to follow the church calendar. The “New Year” of the liturgical cycle starts with Advent. I read that originally Advent was very much like Lent is observed today; it was a time of fasting and preparation. So this year we purposely waited to decorate for Christmas and instead worked on preparing our home for the Christmas celebration. The deep cleaning I usually do around January 1 was moved up to December. We steamed the carpet, reorganized and cleaned in preparation for the coming of Christ. Personally it relieved a lot of the stress I put on myself to get the decorations when I’m still recovering from Thanksgiving and gave me more time to contemplate Advent as a season of hope and expectation for the arrival of Christ. Plus, I gave up beer for Advent and I haven’t felt that giddy about Christmas Day since I was 8.

From December 2010

During Advent we also celebrated Saint Nicholas Day with our friends the Sands-Wises by having a party to gather donations for our local food pantry and homeless shelter – all in the spirit of the original “Santa Claus.” The children got to hear the story of Nicholas the Bishop of Myra, and made a craft to hang on their Christmas tree.

From December 2010

It’s been a wonderful and fun couple of weeks kicking off the liturgical year.

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3 Comments

Filed under faith and things like it

3 responses to “Twelfth Night

  1. Aileen

    *APPLAUSE* That sounds great, you guys.

    As a Catholic-by-birth liturgical musician, I can also highly recommend waiting with Christmas carols in church until Christmas Eve. (But then *continuing* them through the season of Christmas.) Everywhere in the commercial “world” Christmas and all its decorative and musical trappings disappears on the 26th, when, as you point out, it should just be starting.

    I cannot tell you the thrill I got every year at Midnight Mass on the 24th, when, after 4 weeks of “O Come O Come Emmanuel” and “On Jordan’s Banks” etc the organ swelled and we sang “O Come All Ye Faithful” for the processional hymn. Very, very few of my Protestant friends seem to believe me, but it *REALLY* is worth waiting for.

  2. Hooray for the liturgical year! I love to see people discovering the different liturgical rhythm and making it a part of their lives. There is something very powerful to me about it, and I always emphasize it at our church.

    Are you doing anything for the VERY LONG Epiphany season this year?

  3. Amy

    I love your Christmas plates! What great ideas for Advent and Christmas. Giving up beer would definitely make it a season of longing!

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