I love Christmas. My daughter-in-law says that, no matter what time of year it is when God finally takes me home to be with Him, the family ought to decorate for the funeral with Christmas decorations. That’s fine with me!
When I was young (and even into my college days) I used to cry the night before we had to take down the Christmas tree. Christmas comes and goes so fast, and everything seems so dark and dreary when the lights and greens are all put away. So ever since we married thirty-five years ago, we’ve never taken down our Christmas tree and decorations or put away the Christmas CDs before January 6th. Christmas is too special and too important to only celebrate for one day! Those twelve days after Christmas are a gift — a time to savor all that the season means and a time to still read the Christmas books and Bible passages, bake the cookies, and do the crafts we couldn’t manage to do during the pre-Christmas rush.
This year I found a clearance item at our local Christian bookstore — a fold-out booklet with ornaments to punch out for each of the twelve days of Christmas. So I did a bit more research about those twelve days of Christmas. Did you know that they start on Christmas Day, and that they are part of the traditional church calendar? The twelfth day is January 5, the day before Epiphany or Three King’s Day, when we celebrate the coming of the magi to worship Jesus.
Did you also know that the familiar Christmas carol about the twelve days of Christmas was written by English Catholics to help catechize their children? “My true love” refers to God, and each number represents some element of Scripture — the Old and New Testaments, the trinity, the four Gospels, the five books of the Pentateuch, and so forth. I’ve always wanted to do something more purposeful with Epiphany (which also happens to be my birthday). A friend’s question on Facebook — “Those of you who do, how do you celebrate Epiphany?” finally spurred me into action.
I jumped onto Pinterest, and now I can hardly wait to get started! To take advantage of Tauna Meyer’s week of great lessons plans, Three Kings: Seeking Christ After Christmas, I need to start today. To make kings’ crowns and Three King’s Cake, I need to gather materials.
I’m way too tired (after all our celebrating and a greater-than-average amount of grandchild babysitting) to go into a lot of detail here. Instead, I want to post links to some helpful sites I discovered, in case any of you would also like to savor the Christmas season for yet another week. Check them out. Pick one or two ideas to try!
- The history of the Twelve Days of Christmas song
- The Twelve Days card game (for next year!)
- Three Kings: Seeking Christ After Christmas, by Tauna Meyer
- Three Kings’ Cake recipes
- Crowns to make and wear
- Crowns for decoration
- Three Wise Men toys to make
- Three Wise Men cookies
- Three Wise Men Bible lesson and activities