A few days ago, I somehow came across something that mentioned the 12 days of Christmas actually start on December 25. Did anyone else know this? I knew that, traditionally, the Christmas season ends on January 6, which is 12th Night, but I wasn’t aware that the time between Christmas and 12th Night is the traditional “12 Days of Christmas.”
I’m sure many people can relate to the crazy, stressful, busy time of year that can lead up to Christmas. This year, I started an Advent Bible study to help slow down and really treasure what this season of waiting and anticipating is all about. To be completely honest, I did a great job keeping up with it until the last few days before Christmas. I find it really hard to slow down this time of year. And that’s where I think the 12 days of Christmas can come into play for me and my family, personally. The holidays are over, the gifts have been opened and the gatherings are done. These next couple of weeks are usually a good time to really slow down and take some time to focus on the meaning of Christmas. Our Savior has come and we can rejoice and be glad.
This morning, I’ve done a little research on the 12 Days of Christmas to come up with a new tradition that I can share with my family, allowing us to take some time to reflect on the Christmas story. Here is a list I came across that will be the basis of our new tradition. Some of these will have to be shifted around depending on our schedules, but I fervently hope that we can manage to get them all in over the next couple of weeks. I hope this can spark some ideas and inspiration for you and your own family!
1st Day of Christmas: December 25: Rejoice – gathering with friends and family for a day filled with food and fellowship.
2nd Day of Christmas: December 26: Give – focus on end-of-year giving to those in need
3rd Day of Christmas: December 27: Serve – spread the light to others by serving those in need
4th Day of Christmas: December 28: Remember – a more somber day to remember the innocent and marginalized
5th Day of Christmas: December 29: Welcome – bringing people together for a cheerful gathering without the pressure that Christmas Day brings
6th Day of Christmas: December 30: Savor – set aside this day to really savor your favorite parts of the season – warmth, wonder, togetherness
7th Day of Christmas: December 31: Reflect – reflect on the year that has passed – journal or recount the year with family and friends
8th Day of Christmas: January 1: Name – (this is to remember the day Jesus was named in the temple) name your hopes and desires for the year to come; choose a word for the year that will guide you in the year ahead
9th Day of Christmas: January 2: Renew – commit to return to what brings light and life; consider what you would like to renew in the new year
10th Day of Christmas: January 3: Delight – participate in something that brings you delight
11th Day of Christmas: January 4: Listen – listen to your favorite holiday songs or sounds of the season but also listen to your life, community, and world.
12th Day of Christmas: January 5: Follow – the blessing of the home, enjoying King Cake, and sharing hopes for the year with others.
And with that, I’ll share some of our photos from Christmas Eve, when we gathered with our family for the first time in a couple of years. Last year, we all went to Branson, so our traditional Christmas Eve gathering didn’t really happen. This year, we were also able to host my godparents and my cousins as well as Wade’s sister. It was a wonderful afternoon filled with tons of laughter – just a cozy, warm celebration of family and togetherness.
I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!