I really do love celebrating the twelve days of Christmas. It isn't feasting every day and making every moment of every day feel like Christmas. There is lots of real work on these days and lots of what feels like ordinary time. But, there are moments of every day that we set aside to bask in the newness of Christ's birth. Sometimes the moments are planned and sometimes they just happen and sometimes the moments that are planned don't happen. But, in the end it feels like we've really been welcoming a new baby, a new joy. Yes, it was a lot of work to fix turkey dinner for our Epiphany feast with three kids underfoot and I wish Jim could have taken more time off, but it was good enough.
When each of my babes has arrived I've hoped for serene time where Jim and I can just bond and soak in the newness of this little person we are welcoming into the world. But, never are all the moments serene, there is too much work and too little sleep for that. And welcoming Isaac this time around, I counted on this reality, and it wasn't as hard. I've just felt grateful for the moments when we all delight in his newness and often at the same time, delighted in the gift of all three of these little men.
And learning that lesson this time around in my own motherhood, has given me a whole lot of peace these last twelve days. No, we didn't think about Christ's birth every moment, but there were moments when we did ponder Christ's arrival. We found moments to celebrate the gift of the baby born in Bethlehem and it was good!
I think that one of the highlights of the twelve days this year was the book The Thirteen days of Christmas. I'd recommend it highly, just as a fun story for Christmas time, and especially for anyone who wants to celebrate the twelve days. I'm not sure how many of the traditions were local or even made up, but it helped me see how all the days hold together and how many of the days have a particular focus (i.e. Holy Innocents Day, St. Stephen's Day, Adam's Day, Eve's Day...)
So, I can't find much about Adam and Eve's Days online, so perhaps they were local or made up, but I liked the idea. We ate apples on Adam's day, the boys got special treats (these first two were traditions from the book) and we read the story of the fall from Genesis after dinner.
|Our apple dip is a favorite snack around here - some cream cheese, a wee bit of honey and a dash of vanilla.|
Twelfth Night we left our shoes out with grass for the camels and the Wisemen filled them with a sweet each, and a book for the boys. Well, that was the plan, and then a few days before Epiphany Jonah said "I hope the wise men bring me one of those video games that you can hold." (I have no idea where he even saw one of those!) Anyway, for multiple reasons I have no intention of buying him a video game system of any type, but I did break down and buy the boys one pound calculators. I couldn't bear the thought of Jonah being disappointed, and he was thrilled! We gave him math problems all day and Rowan thinks his is a phone, which was fun in another way.
And now, I'm looking toward plow monday. The treats are being disposed of (mostly eaten), the decorations are being put away, and I'm making lists to help us get into a new routine. I'm feeling a need for a more structured rhythm now that I'm trying to keep house and care for three little boys.
Happy Epiphany to you All!!!