Welcome toTips & Tricks #4
THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS
Merry Christmas one and all! We celebrate the first coming of our Savior, Lord Jesus Christ, in this Christmas season. We call it “Christmastide” or the “Twelve Days of Christmas.” Most all of us have heard of the song The Twelve Days of Christmas, but pay it no mind as we dutifully take down our Christmas decorations the day after Christmas. (If we leave them up past New Year’s Day, we are considered lazy and disrespectful!) But the celebration of Advent an Christmas in the Anglican Church calendar is very different from what we are used to here in America. Here are some major differences:
When do Christmas decorations go up?
Society at large: Christmas decorations go up and Christmas music starts playing in all the stores the day after Thanksgiving
Anglicans: Advent begins on the first Sunday between November 27th and December 3rd, a season of fasting and spiritual introspection begins, NO CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS GO UP, and the cheery Christmas spirit is not yet begun. Christmas decorations go up on Christmas Eve.
When do Christmas decorations go down?
Society at large: If you are diligent, the day after Christmas. If you are lazy, they stay up no later than New Year’s Day. If you are downright ignorant, you leave them up year-round.
Anglicans: Decorations stay up for twelve days after Christmas, and come down right before Epiphany (January 6th)
What happens after Christmas Day?
Society at large: The “magic” of Christmas ends, and people return to work or they vacation until after New Year’s Day.
Anglicans: This is when the Christmas season begins! Cheerful Christmas greetings, feasts and celebrations ensue, especially important feast days like the Circumcision of Jesus on January 1st!
So how do I celebrate the Twelve Days of Christmas?
- Turn your Advent Wreath into a Christmastide Wreath by replacing your purple and pink candles with white candles. Continue to light them during mealtimes and prayers. Check out my post on the Advent Wreath for more information!
- Go through the story of Jesus’ early years each day.
- Keep the Christmas tree, decorations, and music on!
- Feast! Eat well and spend twelve more days remembering and celebrating Christ!
I hope you enjoyed this week’s Tips & Tricks. Merry Christmas and keep up the festivities!
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