This is one of those posts to nudge you to think ahead a bit – Christmas is coming, but that day is solely the FIRST day of twelve days of Christmas! In my religious tradition, we actually call it “Christmastide.” The waiting of Advent is over and the celebration of food and Christmas carols is just beginning on Christmas Day! It is a happy, festive time ending with Twelfth Night (January 5th) and Epiphany, or Three Kings Day on January 6th.
This is such a lovely time of year. Some families give and receive gifts and visitors throughout the Twelve Days of Christmas, making it a time of warmth and connection. Others celebrate the Feast Days of the Christian Church. Some focus on having the Three Wise Men make their way throughout the home to the Holy Family in time of the celebration of Epiphany. Some plan on wonderful experiences as a family to create memories that last the whole day through. (And I love the idea of experiences, and will be creating some of that during this year’s Christmastide celebration!)
In the spirit of the Waldorf School, the joyous Twelve Days of Christmas have an inner, reflective state known as the Twelve Holy Nights. Lynn Jericho writes about the meaning of these nights on The Wonder of Childhood. Here is another article by Fairy Dust Teaching. I will be honest and say I do not connect with the the esoteric astrology of the Twelve Nights. At this point, I find value in the Anglican traditions surrounding Christmastide, but the inner reflective state does deeply resonate with me. This is one of my most favorite times of the years due to that quiet strength of connection to the spiritual world. It is enlivening and invigorating to really sink into inner work, praying, and planning my passions and ideas in a fresh way for a new year.
This year, I am planning on focusing on twelve different aspects of how I wish to see change in me, my family, and the world. I don’t have all of the details ironed out yet, but am brainstorming. In my head, I have tied each day to a quality I associate with each of the twelve months. I believe the first day I will focus on Warmth – what the potential for connection to take place in warmth and love and openness, and how I can make my physical home and my emotional state warm to myself and others. The second day I am considering Love – the unselfish and compassionate love of putting someone else higher than oneself – and how this fits into my family life and my work in the world. And so forth.
I am also interested in really meditating and praying for our children, and to see what areas that we would love to help guide and develop in them so they can go out into the world and share their gifts with all of humanity in a way that is helpful, generous, and encouraging for mankind.
If you are interested in this, you may appreciate some of these back posts.
I hope everyone is having an Advent of wonder and anticipation. I would love to hear what you are doing and what is wonderful. It can be an overwhelming time of year for some, a grumpy and too fussy of a time for others, and sometimes just hearing the small positive things about this season can be a light. Please consider sharing and uplifting other readers.
Blessings and light,