Friday, December 26, 2008

The Twelve Days of Christmas

I promise this is my last Christmas post of 2008 :)

Today is Boxing Day, the second day of Christmas. I need to find some turtle doves! If you don't get the reference, then clearly you have not been listening to enough Christmas music :)

The first place I ever heard of the Twelve Days of Christmas was in the Christmas Carol by that name. When I was younger, I speculated what the 12 days could possibly be. Of course I thought they ended with Christmas Day, after all that was the best day of the season. I was wrong however, Christmas Day is the first day of Christmas. The last day is January 6, the Epiphany.

Notable days during the Twelve Days of Christmas include the aforementioned Boxing Day, St. Stephen's Day, New Year's Eve, New Year's Day, and Twelfth Night. In the times of yore, Boxing Day was the day that food was boxed up and passed out to those less fortunate. Some countries also celebrated St. Stephen's Day on December 26. Others note it on December 27. St. Stephen's Day has also made its way into a Christmas Carol. Remember Good King Wencelas? What feast did he look out on again? :)

In modern times it seems as if only Christmas Day and New Year's have survived as celebrated holidays. Boxing day has turned into the day to get after Christmas bargains at the mall. If I mention Twelfth Night, most people assume I'm taking about the Shakespeare play. I think that's a little bit of a shame. Holidays are days to be savored. Instead Christmas day often feels like a day in which people must do as much as possible in a short amount of time, so we can all return to our normal lives as soon as life demands it of us.

If you have the time and the inkling to do so, take a few moments during the remaining twelve days to remember that we are still in a holiday season. Take the opportunity to do something that you just didn't have time for on Christmas Day. Spend some time geeking out with the new toys Santa brought you. Don't let life get a firm grasp on you until well into January, and then we can all say we've kept Christmas well :)