Thursday, January 08, 2009

The Twelve Days of Christmas

We have had a nice, relatively peaceful 12 days of Christmas. After all the excitement of the extended family celebrations, we spent some peaceful time at home, enjoying our decorations. We rang in the new year quietly, and then we attended Mass on the first for the feast of Mary, the Mother of God. Of course, our church was still decorated beautifully for Christmas - they really do it up well in there! I love that we can continue singing Christmas hymns in church even when the rest of the world stopped playing Christmas music after the 25th.

Caroline spent some time enjoying her new gifts. We have such generous family - she got several nice things and has been enjoying them. One of our activities during the Christmas season was to write thank-you notes for all of Caroline's gifts. I decided to start that tradition this year to begin to instill the importance of gratitude in my girls. Caroline is now old enough to really grasp the fact that other people are doing something special for her by giving her gifts... and she can sort of sign her name now, too! So I made up a template and we filled in the blanks and then added photos of her enjoying the gifts, then mailed them out to the givers of the gifts.

The family fun of the season continued for another 24 hours with a trip to my brother's new house on the 1st. We had not been there yet, and they invited us for dinner and to stay overnight since they live about an hour away from us. Caroline and Cecilia enjoyed playing in a new place, and Chris and I enjoyed the fun of spending time with my brothers and sister-in-law! We played Phase 10 after the girls were sleeping. The next day, we went out to lunch at Cracker Barrel (and Tim, we should have paid for you too - I owe you ten bucks!). It was fun to hang out together and get to see their beautiful house! And that piano... I grew up with it in my family's living room, so it looked weird to be in another house! But Mike was the one who took piano lessons, so he got the piano.

Cecilia was thrilled to have another opportunity to chase the puppy around!

Cecilia also continued to enjoy our tree throughout the twelve days... the ornaments were a source of great entertainment and interest. We took the tree down after the girls were sleeping on the 6th.

I hope to incorporate more traditions into these twelve days... if anybody has any to share about how you continue celebrating Christmas through Epiphany, I'd love to hear them!


Mike Gellatly said...

we don't have any specific traditions/activities for the christmas season. but i do keep the decorations up and enjoy them. i ended up having to take them down sunday night (2 days early) just b/c this week and upcoming weekend are very hectic ones. but aside from the wisemen moving to the nativity i can't think of anything else.

love your family traditions you are starting. your girls are so blessed!

Tim said...

Tree and all decorations should stay up until the Baptism of the Lord. That is the end of the Christmas season.

Erin said...

Nyah, Tim. (Picture that skit on The State - that's what I am doing at you through the computer screen)

Most of our decorations were still up until the Baptism of the Lord (which we celebrated yesterday with shell-shaped pasta and getting out the baptismal candles as centerpieces). Traditionally, decorations can stay up until Candlemas (Feb. 2)... the tree wouldn't last that long, though.