Of course, the first day of Christmas is the feast of Christ. Christ Mass. The day dedicated to observing the birth of Christ. In the liturgical calendar, it is the second most important feast. Easter first. Christmas second.
There are massive theological implications of this liturgical importance, but I’m not going to get into those right now because there are many places you can read about those from theologians and scholars who are much more exciting than I am.
As I said in yesterday’s post, the twelve days of Christmas are feast days. Not to be confused with the Christmas counting song. There are plenty of ways to celebrate the twelve days of Christmas. My good friend Jane, for instance, is doing the Twelve Days of Christmas in cocktails. (Todays is the Partridge in a Peartini–I swear, she is so creative!) Here’s a blogger who did the twelve days of Christmas service projects. There are all kinds of cool ideas for how to celebrate the Twelve Days on Pinterest including lots of gift giving.
But for me, I want to try to do celebration for the 12 Days. Because it’s been one of the hardest years of my life this year, and I haven’t done a lot of celebrating, I want to celebrate out the old year and in the new.
So on the FIRST day of Christmas, I’m going to put up my decorations. As I’m still waiting for our Christmas Feast with the Roast Beast, I’ll wait. But since it’s “common practice” among those who celebrate the twelve feasts to take down the decorations on the Twelfth Night, I don’t want to wait any longer to get the decorations up.
The other thing I want to do on the FIRST day of Christmas is make one of my favorite Christmas recipes. It’s called Christmas Tree Coffee Cake. I will post the recipe and pictures later, but those are my goals. Since today is the celebration of Christ, I want to do Christmas Tree things. In honor of the Christ on the Tree.
The traditional feast of Christmas was all about the Incarnation. The God who became Man. In all other forms of tales about gods in history, becoming human was beneath the gods. They were looking for more power, more influence, more followers. Their relationship to humans was often utilitarian. But the story we read in the Bible is different completely. It’s the story of a God with infinite power who chose to become Human in order to solidify our ability to relate to Him forever.
So in order to celebrate, I’m going to spend time solidifying my relationships today. I’ve talked to most of my close friends either yesterday or today. I still have a couple to see or call. I’ve spent quite a bit of time with my parents and family. I’m excited to say that I feel very incarnated today.
My Christmas Carol of the day is the Hallelujah Chorus from the Messiah. It was on the radio this morning when I drove to my parents house and it hit me how incredibly relevant the words of this song are today. This is my favorite version of the Hallelujah Chorus. From the Soulful Messiah.
Tomorrow is the Feast of St. Stephen, the First Martyr. I look forward to finding out what tomorrow has in store for me. But for today, Merry Christmas!