Oh, the well-known "12 Days of Christmas" . . . for most Americans they start 12 days before December 25th. Oops . . . and that's a BIG Oops!! The United States is one of only a very few countries that seem to think that Christmas begins and ends on 25 December. Not So.
Actually, today is the second day of Christmas. The count will continue on until January 6th, when for most of the world that observe the Christian festivals, the coming of the Wise Men is observed. It is then that most of the gift-giving occurs since it was the Wise Men who brought gifts to the Christ Child.
Many years ago when living in Berlin, Germany, we were privileged to share the holidays with some wonderful German friends. We learned a lot from them. On Christmas Day only a small token gift was at each place setting during Christmas Dinner--a token reminder that on Christmas the gift of the Christ Child was given to the world. Then on January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany, the shoes were left outside the door, much as American children hang stockings on the fireplace mantle, the Wise Men would leave gifts as they passed by on the way to Bethlehem.
In our house, we put up our Christmas Tree very near Christmas Day and leave it up until January 6. I guess those experiences years ago in Berlin marked us more than we realize. We still gather on Christmas Day and share presents with our family. But on January 6, hubby and I remember those far off experiences and share a token gift. We are obviously out of sync with our neighbors who have all put their stuff away on New Years Day, but we have long ago ceased to do what the neighbors do. One year I was so delighted with the way our Christmas tree looked that we left it up until February.
Today is also known as Boxing Day in the British Isles, and for all my British blogger friends and followers, may your holiday observances be merry and bright. I am hoping to continue to have some special Christmas books for review in the next few days. Check back and enjoy.