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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

12th Night

The celebration of 12th Night has become an annual tradition in our house, simply because the holidays are such a crazy, busy, time with both sides of our families, that we needed a family night to ourselves. It is a reminder that this season isn't all about gifts, and it is the day we "officially" end our celebration of Christmas. Traditionally, 12th Night is the celebration of the arrival of the Magi at the home of young Jesus. I'm sure it took them much longer than 12 days, but since nobody really knows, we'll just go with it.

The tree stays up and the kids are encouraged to leave their opened Christmas gifts under it until Jan 6th. During the day we read several stories of the wise men. Our favorites are Matthew 2, "The Gift of the Magi" by O.Henry and "The Story of the Three Wise Kings" by Tomie DePaola.

This evening the kids were thrilled to set up for dinner all by themselves. The coffee table in the living room was decorated with gold paper plates and a random assortment of silverware. They lit Frankincense scented candles and said one more thank-you to Jesus for being born. We sang "We Three Kings" and then we had the treat of eating Chinese food (our interpretation of "from the East") with chop sticks while sitting on the floor of our living room and watching the last Christmas movie of the season. The kids favorite - "The Little Drummer Boy," which, although completely fictional, focuses on the travels of the Wise Men to the birthplace of Jesus. For dessert they had gold chocolate coins.

Tomorrow is when we start to put away all of the Christmas decorations. We bring their new toys to the playroom, dust all of the surfaces that were hiding under the decor, and return to normal post-holiday life.

And that is our funny family ritual.


Doris said...

Such a wonderful tradition and I can guaranty they will cherish it as they get older....Chinese food and all.

Nate, Michelle, Trent, Dylan and Aliya said...

What a fun idea! Nothing better then a celebration! Kids adore them and so do the parents!