this is a day on the church calendar that our family loves to celebrate. and we have decided to step it up next year in the traditions department. we do a bit for the day, but definitely not enough. more fun! more festivities! this great festival day celebrates the revelation of Christ as Savior of the world. the theme is that "Jesus is the light of the world" and is not coincidental that the holiday falls during the darkest time of the year for those in the northern hemisphere. for us, december is so full and crazy at times. hustle and bustle. and by the time the big day arrives, it is over so fast. too fast. a high-high and then quiet and over. the joy and fun and giddiness dissipates and the lights seem to dim. and i do not like the feeling of that time between christmas and the new year. not at all. it is so blah. and this year, it hit me hard. i wanted to go back. i wanted to do it over and have an out-of-body experience where i could just stand back and watch our family enjoy the day. i wanted to take it all in and memorize it and remember the expressions and emotions and tastes and smells and laughter. i wanted more mental pictures. to slow things down.
the beauty of epiphany is that you enjoy the advent season and celebrate christmas day as a high point - Christ's birth, God with us. BUT, christmas then becomes the start of the "twelve days of christmas" which leads up to epiphany. it extends the season! who wouldn't want that?
the beauty of celebrating the twelve days of christmas is that the season lives on and shines brighter. you experience the joy of the season after some of the tinsel has settled. you can absorb it and spend the time in a more thoughtful way. it allows me to get into the wahoo of december and then spend extra days in reflection. simple celebrations at home. time with our little family. watching movies. reading. listening to music. talking about Jesus. cooking. singing. enjoying. and hey, maybe even baking a festive spice cake to enjoy at a big feast on january 6...
it affords us the opportunity to quiet our hearts and maintain the joy and discuss what just happened during advent - the meaning of what we celebrated. we can continue to sojourn and lay gifts at his feet as we marvel at his incarnation, his manifestation. his incandescent, luminescent, radiant self. the brightest of stars. the light in the darkness. the savior who is Christ the Lord.