What does “12 Days of Christmas” mean to you? The name of a song we hear a lot at this time of the year? A time to return Christmas gifts to the store? The designation of the days between Christmas and Epiphany? The time of the year you “really” get into the Christmas spirit?
In some parts of the world December 26 is called “Boxing Day” and is a holiday. It is also a day many give gifts. Where I grew up the gifts happened on Christmas Day. It seems to me these days we could use a reminder that we are to continue the Christmas spirit of gift giving beyond one day (and not just the kind of gifts we buy at the department store and the mall).
Let me call your attention to another Christmas carol, “Good King Wenceslas.” ( http://www.carols.org.uk/good_king_wenceslas.htm ). The first verse goes,
Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the feast of Stephen
When the snow lay round about
Deep and crisp and even
Brightly shone the moon that night
Though the frost was cruel
When a poor man came in sight
Gath’ring winter fuel
The rest of the song suggests the “Good King” just might have understood something about “gifts” on the 12 Days of Christmas (The Feast of St Stephen is December 26).
How do you want to live out the Christmas spirit these 12 Days of Christmas and beyond?