Skip to main content

The Twelve Days of Christmas : Still Celebrating

Images of life before Christmas:

Kindergarten Christmas party
KC singing Away In A Manger in the school Christmas Program
Blurry picture of ZJ singing in a 5th grade trio
RW and fellow 6th graders posing while scripture is being read
Gift buying completed on Christmas Eve ~ time to wrap like a fiend.

Images of life after Christmas:

Peaceful pink sunrise
Christmas quiches
Lots of X-Box gaming
Christmas cake

Time for playing by the fire
Can you feel the difference in the before and after Christmas energy?  Maybe it was the result of the later Thanksgiving holiday this year but Advent came so quickly and flew by faster than usual.  

Many of my friends expressed a sense of pressure and urgency this year and we agreed that it was a year to let a lot go. On the first day of vacation one of my friends lamented that she hadn't accomplished any of the fun Christmasy plans tucked into each box of her homemade Advent calendar.  I agreed that I hadn't baked a single cookie or wrapped one gift at that point and that I felt very behind.  The good news is that we were both ok with just letting it be as it was in that moment.  

But  then it occurred to me that that was the whole point of Advent anyway.  Isn't it about waiting for the birth of Christ ~ not having the party prior to the arrival of the intended guest? At that moment I decided that from now on, I would think of Advent as the nesting version of preparing for a birth. I decorate the house and get things prepared - plan menus, gather recipes and supplies but the actual doing of Christmas can wait for Christmas itself.  

The pressure melted away and because we had no company and didn't fly home to North Dakota this year, I was able to really enjoy the twelve days of Christmas at home.  I wrapped gifts on Christmas Eve with carols blaring and coffee to spur me along. We ordered in food for Christmas Eve dinner so I didn't have to cook and went to the quieter mass on Christmas morning at 10am.  Afterward, we came home and enjoyed our gifts, baked some cookies and watched some Christmas shows.  

Throughout the rest of the break from school we have played hours of board games (electronic Monopoly and Wits and Wagers were gifts that were true hits), we went to movies in the theater, had playdates with friends and spent every night cuddled as a family around the twinkly tree lights. 

Over the past week I have seen the lights go out in many people's windows and the dried out trees lining the street.  But I look at the calendar and remind myself that Christmas is not over until January 5th - the day of Epiphany which represents the arrival of the Magi to see the Christ child. After all the preparing for the holiday it seems strange to so abruptly pack it all away before the official end of the celebration.  

Luckily for us our school doesn't resume until Monday which means we can continue to feel like it is Christmas while the school buses drive by taking children back to public school.  It is only natural that for so many the feeling of the holiday ended on Wednesday. 

For me, leaving the decorations up through the weekend is a peaceful feeling, no rush to get back to normal, rather the ability to rest in the spirit of Christmas a little longer.  Besides, we still have a few cookies to bake before the new year's resolutions kick in on Monday.

I am reminded of Joyce Meyers saying that one way to immediately increase your peace is to lower your expectations.  As we look back at Christmas 2013 there are surely many ways we wish things had been different, that we had done more, made it more of an idealized holiday, but if we let go of what didn't happen and simply enjoy all that did, we can be pleased beyond measure with the fact that Christ still came for us, still reigns for us, and that there are always the twelve Days of Christmas 2014 to look forward to in just twelve short months.


  1. Beautiful photos capturing the Christmas energy in your lives! I love it all...and I love your 'take' on it glad you had a relaxing Christmas in your own home. xoxo H2U!


Post a Comment

~Grace and peace to you~

Popular posts from this blog

Locally Grown {stuffed green peppers recipe}

  Last weekend we took the whole family to a nearby produce stand.  We were craving something that tasted fresh from the garden and since I don't have my own garden, we found this place.     The fields were full of fall-colored flowered.  Can't wait for those cooler days to come.         But for now, we are reveling in the height of summer sunshine and produce.       It's easy to go overboard here and buy much more than you can use in the next few days.  I don't even like okra but they look so inviting in those cute blue crates.     These tomatoes inspired a caprese salad for lunch: tomato slices cut into quarters, hunks of fresh mozzarella, snipped basil leaves, salt, pepper and drizzles of olive oil and red wine vinegar.       These strawberries wound up being dunked in Silky Chocolate Fondue .       Every girl dreams of doing her shopping with one of these adorable woven baskets, doesn't she?       Even the boys had fun playing in the sand while I took m

How to Create Art in Five Minutes

As I have mentioned before, my word for this year is CREATE .  Painting with watercolors is one area in which I have been experimenting.  Michael's has a really inexpensive line of art supplies called Artist's Loft .  I bought the watercolor paints and a few brushes as a way to get started without much investment. (Everything is around $5-$10.)   Being a part of Alisa Burke's on-line class called Create Daily , has awakened my senses to the many opportunities to create quickly .  Sometimes we get caught up in the idea that we must have large blocks of time set aside to be artistic .  Surely, we think, it takes an afternoon to paint, collage, journal or compose a few lines of poetry.  Well, if you are seeking perfection, it does.  But if you are seeking to revel in your simplistic ability to create something imperfect instead of nothing at all ,  there are moments of creative inspiration everywhere you look! On this particular day, I opened my daily poetry em

Peaceful Snow Day

Yesterday we had the most lovely snow day. The woods were simply begging us to come and explore. We had new trails to find and secret passageways and hideouts. Reading about nature is fine, but if a person walks in the woods and listens carefully, he can learn more than what is in books, for they speak with the voice of God. George Washington Carver There were tracks to follow. And tracks to make. Occasionally, the wind blew mini blizzards of snow around us. And then the sun returned and the sky gleamed blue. The sky is the daily bread of the eyes. Ralph Waldo Emerson There were hints of Spring. And reminders of winter. We made wonderful memories. And then, there were the snowy camellias. I got a little swept away by their color and beauty. I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes. e.e. cummings