The Two Epiphanies

Today I had an epiphany. Not like the one that will take place on January 6th. The lower-case kind. Ironically, it had to do with the 12 days of Christmas. A little backstory on me. Growing up, my dad was Catholic, and my mom was United Methodist. We’ll just say “Methodist” for short. We’d attend Mass at 9am, head to eat breakfast, then go to Wesley for the 11am service. Suffice it to say, I got a double dose. Most Sundays, the readings were similar, if not the same, at both churches. Until I was about ten or so, I thought boys were Catholics and girls were Methodists. I don’t know. I just did.

When I was 14, I made the decision to join the United Methodist Church. Prior to this conviction, though, I spent a lot of time researching the different denominations, including others I wasn’t raised with. During this time, I really explored the different seasons of the church. If you haven’t been able to tell, I absolutely love traditions, and the seasons of the church are quite traditional.

While I had always known that the Christmas season starts on December 25th and lasts for the next 12 days, I had NO idea (truly, no idea until this morning), that this wasn’t common knowledge. So, I decided to dedicate today’s blog to being the 10th day of Christmas and to promote the idea of traditions and celebration of Christmas.

My husband and I haven’t taken down our Christmas decorations. Now you know we’re not lazy (at least not about this). We just are choosing to celebrate all 12 days of Christmas. If you choose to not, that’s completely ok. I just posted the meme as a humorous aside. 🙂

So, a little 12 days of Christmas etiquette and traditions.

  • Traditionally, the tree and nativity scene remain until Epiphany. We elect to keep all of our decorations up since we keep our decorations in the attic. One trip is much better for me. 🙂
  • On the Twelfth Night, there are oftentimes parties to celebrate Christmas.
  • Each day of Christmas represents a day honoring or remembering different people/events. Several of the days honor a saint.
  • Here is another reference for your convenience! http://www.whychristmas.com/customs/12daysofchristmas.shtml 

Thank you for reading and Merry Christmas!

I truly did not know that people thought the 12 days of Christmas started BEFORE Christmas day instead of beginning on Christmas day, as is correct. I wouldn’t have known people did not know when the 12 days began if I hadn’t wished someone a Merry Christmas today. Please email me any etiquette question you’d like explained! 🙂 etiquettebyemily@gmail.com

Also, I know the dessert forks are facing the incorrect position. 🙂 My daughter helped set the table, and I didn’t catch the mistake until after the picture had been taken.

     

 

 

The Christmas Season

ornamentEach year I notice the Christmas decorations going up earlier and earlier and coming down sooner and sooner. Part of this may be the secularization of the Christmas holiday. However, I want to remind those celebrating of a Christian faith, the Christmas season is not over, yet! The 12 days of Christmas begin on December 25th, concluding on January 5th, bringing us to the Epiphany on January 6th (and the start of Carnival!).stockings

I’ve had four different messages asking about when to take down the decorations. Ok, not strictly etiquette, but etiquette is essentially guidelines for how we live, so, to me, this applies. 😉 It is fully appropriate to leave Christmas decorations up and lit until after the Christmas season. Appropriately, mid-January is plenty acceptable.  We get a live tree, which I generally forget to water (along with the rest of my plants), so my decorations come down on January 6th, come rain or come shine.

Likewise, Christmas parties and gatherings are perfectly acceptable to have or attend post-December 25th. In actuality, it is preferable than attending a Christmas party on, say, November 5th. So, celebrate away!

Also, if you live near Sulphur Springs and don’t have a King Cake for Carnival (Mardi Gras), don’t feel as though you need to wait until Fat Tuesday! Carnival season will begin January 6th and conclude on Fat Tuesday, which is February 9th for 2016. Here is a link you can order your cake from: https://squareup.com/market/sulphurspringsbakery/king-cake.

***I do NOT receive any affiliate fee from the above link. I just enjoy their bakery. 🙂