Traditionally the 12 days of Christmas are the 12 days between the celebration of the birth of Christ and Epiphany. Epiphany marks the day celebrating that Christ is indeed the son of God. In some countries Epiphany is celebrated with visitation from the Magi or the Wisemen. When I was in Germany Epiphany is the day that the churches star singers would go house to house, sing and I believe, collect money for charity. It’s been awhile so I don’t quite remember all the details. But for many americans I think it’s safe to say that our memories and knowledge of the 12 days of Christmas comes straight from the song, partridge, pear tree, 5 golden rings and all.
I’ll write more about the religious symbolism in the 12 Days of Christmas song closer to the beginning of January but all that to say, I use to think that the 12 days of Christmas were simply the days leading up to Christmas. But instead they lead to Epiphany, however either way it’s all about anticipation. It’s the reason I like advent so much. Anticipation. I like anticipating what’s next otherwise Christmas, birthday or any other celebrations seem to come and go too quickly. Or we get caught up in the un-festive trappings so that we can’t wait for it to end. I like having reminders to keep me happily anticipating in the right way.
So last year for advent I gave Ryan a stack of cards. One for every day in December. Since we weren’t always together this was a little something for him to anticipate us being together on Christmas. This year, doing something every day seemed a little excessive and time consuming so I decided to put together 12 gifts leading up to Christmas. Ryan’s 12 days of Christmas include all sorts of goodies which I can’t divulge here because we don’t want to ruin the surprise for him. But i’m excited for him to start opening a gift every day in anticipation of Christmas.
I hope this season is filled with joyous anticipation for everyone.