In times ago, Christmas was celebrated as a festival of twelve days and thirteen Holy Nights. Christmas Eve is actually the first of the Holy Nights, with the first day of Christmastide being Christmas and then the Holy Nights extend until Twelfth Night on the eve of January fifth (anyone remember Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare?) January 6 is of course Epiphany.
These Holy Nights, is one of my most personally fulfilling times of the whole year. It is a very inward time, a time to dream and a time to plan. I do a lot of reflecting and thinking about what I want to see in my family life during the next year and what I want to see in myself. I try very hard to schedule nothing during this time, and to have copious amounts of time to just be. We hike a lot during this period if the weather holds up, and otherwise just enjoy being together. You can see my thoughts about the Holy Nights and where I was in inner work last year at this time here: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2008/12/24/the-holy-nights/
Some families give gifts on only Three Kings Day, and some give a small gift every day throughout the Twelve Days. It might be nice to spread out your gift-giving. This Wikipedia definition has more about these days in general: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelve_days_of_Christmas
Many Waldorf families mark this time by setting up a path of stars for the Three Kings to travel on to reach the infant Jesus. Some families make an Advent-type calendar to mark these days. Some families make a Weather Tree, and have fun guessing what the weather will be like each month of the new year based on the weather of each of the Twelve Days.
This is a great time to play card and board games with your family, to catch up with your family and friends, to grow more intimate with your spouse or partner as you plan and dream together.
Where are you right now in your inner work? Where are you in parenting and homeschooling? Planning for the next school year (assuming you will be starting another school year in September of 2010) is right around the corner. Perhaps you can use some time during these Twelve Days to talk finances with your spouse regarding your homeschooling budget. This is important; there would be expenses even if your children were in school, so you should also be thinking and planning for Spring purchases for Fall.
Where is your house? Perhaps during these Twelve Days you can consider what projects around the house might need to get done. Where is your rhythm, your menu planning?
This is your time to slow down, to take stock.
Enjoy this quiet, introspective time –