I began doing research on it. I began looking at my Nativity Sets differently. I learned new things. The12DaysofChristmas is not a countdown to December 25th. It actually is the 12 days STARTING on Christmas and ending on Epiphany with the arrival of the Wise Men to Bethlehem. I began to cherish these 12 days. I love Christmas. Not just the decorations and the magic through the eyes of children but the Spirit. The love. The family. The history. The religious components. I hate to see it end. I began to learn that Epiphany serves as the official end to the Advent Season and the 12 days between Christmas and Epiphany should be about reflection and enjoyment and celebration and anticipation of the revealing of the new year and the light in our lives.
And so, the decorations stay up now, when they used to be gone as soon as the New Year rang in. We try hard to enjoy our time between Christmas and Epiphany. We don't stess over decorations or even putting away all the gifts and stuff. We relish in it. We spend extra time with family and friends and count our blessings.
And the day has become one of anticipation for my babies too-since they were babies! On this day, they get to have breakfast with Baby Jesus-yup! that's right. Jesus comes to the table with them. When they were in highchairs, their personal Nativity Set got to sit on their tray ( check out these two flashback pics of Baby Mara with her own Holy Family and trying to feed Baby Jesus. I also found it funny to see that she has the exact same breakfast everyday since she was a baby.)
Today both kids were so excited to see all the Nativity Sets in the house on the dining room table, waiting for them, along with their breakfast
Its also a special day because they get to interact with My Nativities- the fancy ones. The breakable ones. The ones that I cherish. While they mean so much to me, there is nothing more incredible than seeing the kids pull their favorites close to them and observe and dramatic play and talk to the "characters" while they nibble on their bacon or their bagels. Its priceless-even if I break one along the way ( and I never have-they are incredible cautious as they know their importance)
Not one piece ended up in the same place it started
Mara even played peek a boo.
And we talked. We told the story of the Kings. We all asked questions. We read from thier children's bible. We guessed about how they must have been feeling and how tired they must have been and how sneaky they were to not tell King Herod and worship Jesus. It was magical!