Some days just seem to float along so beautifully, don't they? Yesterday, my mom and I went shopping for the Epiphany.
See, in our family, we celebrate Little Christmas, the feast of The Epiphany. It's the day reserved for the Wise Men, when they followed the Star in the East and came unto the Child in Bethlehem. In some countries, Little Christmas is the day for gift-giving, so that they take away nothing of the spirituality of Christmas by focusing attention on gifts rather than Christ.
Anyhow, my mom and I went shopping, and purchased one gift for each member of the family. These are the "Wise Men" gifts. I've got them all wrapped now, and hidden away in my closet. Tomorrow night, after all the little girls have gone to bed, we're going to put out the presents, and it will be as though the Wise Men have come and left a gift for each member of the family.
Isn't that the nicest tradition? It makes the season of Christmas go on so much longer. I just love being able to get one more special, unexpected thing for people. It was particularly lucky this year, because my lovely, dear employer gave us all a Christmas bonus, and I was able to use that to help my parents do the Epiphany gifts. I just LOVE getting things for people.
For today, we celebrate the Eleventh Day of Christmas, which is enlivened by Eleven Pipers Piping. This day commemorates the Eleven faithful Apostles. The Twelfth Apostle, Judas Iscariot, is excluded from the list. Below are the faithful Apostles:
James bar Alphaeus
Judas bar James
Happy Almost Epiphany, everyone!
On the Eleventh Day of Christmas my True Love (God) gave to me,
Eleven Pipers Piping, (the Eleven Faithful Apostles)
Ten Lords a-Leaping, (the Ten Commandments)
Nine Ladies Dancing, (the Nine Fruits of the Holy Ghost)
Eight Maids a-Milking, (the Eight Beatitudes)
Seven Swans a-Swimming, (the Seven Sacraments)
Six Geese a-Laying, (the Six Days of Creation)
Five Gold Rings, (the Pentateuch)
Four Calling Birds, (the Four Evangelists, or the Gospels)
Three French Hens, (the Theological Virtues)
Two Turtledoves, (the Old and New Testaments)
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree. (Our Darling Jesus Christ)