Wednesday, December 19, 2007

WFMW - What Works For Me At Christmas - EPIPHANY!

Okay, this may seem a little scrooge-ish (and I would know since that's my book-blogging book for this month!) but I am so thankful for Epiphany and that my family has adopted the tradition of giving presents on Epiphany and not Christmas! We adopted the celebration during our time in Canada. While everyone is else is rushing around searching for last-minute whatevers I sit calmly by only thinking of our annual Christmas Open House (on Dec. 23rd) and what to serve my loving family for Christmas dinner.

Epiphany is January 6th,
a feast intended to celebrate the "shining forth" or revelation of God to mankind in human form, in the person of Jesus. The feast is also called Twelfth Day, as it is the twelfth day after Christmas, or Three Kings Day. Wikipedia
There are many advantages (beside the one I stated above) to giving presents on Epiphany vs. December 25th (I was going to say Christmas but for many Christmas includes the 12 days, beginning December 25th and ending January 6th). Now this is where the scrooge in me comes in...we buy our presents at the after-Christmas sales. Yep, instead of buying clothes, toys, games at full price, I wait until they hit 50-75% off.

The more contemplative, spiritual side of me appreciates that we are celebrating the 12 days of Christmas like the ancient church did and so many fellow believers do today.

Now in all honesty there are a few bummers about giving presents on January 6th and not December 25th: All the kid's friends have their gifts earlier; the kids are back to school by January 6th so our celebration isn't an all-day affair (unless it falls on a weekend) and we have to wait to the evening; and our extended families do not celebrate this tradition so we are torn on December 25th (do we open the mailed-presents from them, when we are away from them, or hold off till Epiphany? Most of the time we open them on the 25th so - BINGO - the kids open presents twice!) But that isn't so bad.


Milehimama said...

We started this a couple of years ago (we had to wait to get paid until the new year) and the children were absolutely charmed by it!
We open other's presents on Christmas and have family presents for Epiphany.

Marie said...

We are doing something like this this year. My parents are moving to our area and will get here on the 26th, so we're having Christmas on the 27th to shar eit with them.

Oma said...

Guess what? We're not too old for new traditions and we're coming for EPIPANY! Bearing gifts (so I don't have to mail). I hope this tradition follows your children. It's seems like a good one. Helps us focus on what Christmas is really about.

TracyMichele said...

We actually celebrate Christmas on the 25th but reserve 3 special family gifts to open on Jan 6th (sort of attempting to connect it to the 3 wisemen). I purchased 3 velvet covered boxes in different shapes and sizes which hold the special presents. They are placed under a tabletop-size tree next to the fireplace. It allows us to have a special evening in front of the fireplace and celebrate after all the craziness of the commercialized holiday.

Thanks for posting about this.. I rarely hear anyone else doing similar things.

SAHMmy Says said...

What a neat tradition! I'd never heard of Epiphany before. If you still want to celebrate on Dec 25 you can catch all the great after-Christmas deals, just buy for next Christmas this January. It may take a little financial wrangling, but you'll come out ahead and be that much more organized--and relaxed--for next season.

Kerry said...

I've often thought this was a lovely tradition - to give gifts on Epiphany. Not sure I could hold my kids off until Epiphany. Too bad I didn't think to start it when they were littlt. :)

We often hold a few presents back for Epiphany, though, and that was worked well for us.

I absolutely LOVE the photo - what a clever perspective. I'm going to copy that idea, if you don't mind!

Chris said...

I knew there was a reason I liked Dave so much. We, too, swim up stream and give gifts on Epiphany. Christmas is for worship and incarnational service.

Heidi said...

I think the idea of celebrating on Epiphany is wonderful.

It wouldn't work well for us because my oldest son has a birthday on Jan. 1st. I like to separate Christmas from his b-day celebration as much as possible. So we do Christmas *all* December, relax on the 26th, and put away/clean up on the 27th. Then we have a few days to prepare for Levi's b-day and the New Year.

What a neat tradition for you, though!

Totallyscrappy said...

I've always said that Epiphany is a totally under-celebrated holiday!
I've tried to convince my hubby that our church should have an annual Epiphany party. We'll see...
May God bless you this Epiphany season and always!