Twelve Days of Christmas

The first day of Christmas was spent celebrating.  We went to mass.  We opened presents.  The kids played.  Family came together.

All of it very outward.

The remaining 11 days of Christmas are being spent with much inward reflection on my part.  I’m feeling much more connected to the Holiday this year than in years past.

There was more preparation, and I’m not just talking about decorating and planning.  I did do more planning, especially with the gifts,  and I think that enabled me to spend time reflecting and celebrating the true meaning of the Season.

I read The Light in the Lantern with the kids every evening during Advent.  The first week of Advent, the stories were focused on the elemental world.  The second week’s focus was on plants, the third on animals, and the fourth week brought in the human aspect of things.  The children really enjoyed the stories, especially Alex.  I’d like to add the Advent calendar to the story next year and forget about the one with the chocolates that was the source of many fights and tantrums.

We lit a candle during dinner every night on a makeshift Advent wreath.  I wanted a beautiful table wreath made of evergreen branches and taper candles, but when that didn’t happen, I simply found a plate and placed four tea candles on it.  It served the purpose well and reminded me to look for the Light and pray, and not just at dinner when it was lit.

Our small Nativity was set out in the living room.  I adore this three piece set that we bought our first Christmas, and the symbolism.  I hope to add a wooden, child-friend version of it next year to the nature table to be more interactive for the kids.

This Steiner lecture on the Thirteen Days of Christmas was posted on one of my groups and I found it to be quite interesting.  “The Christmas thought — if we understand the festival which commemorates man’s divine origin and the symbol before us on Christmas Day in the form of the Jesus Child — says to us ever and again that the powers which bring peace to the soul can be found within ourselves. True peace of soul is present only when that peace has sure foundations…” So what better way to spend the twelve days before the Epiphany than in quiet contemplation, giving myself that very foundation.

For the Holy Days, I’ve been following Inner Christmas for a focus each day.  I was a little apprehensive the first day, but I kept with it and I’m glad I did.  The third day hit me hard and is still speaking to me.  I’ve been reading the thought each evening before bed, sleeping on it, then re-reading it and reflecting on it in the silence of the morning.   I’m feeling a much deeper spiritual connection as a result and hope to continue this quiet meditative and prayer time into the NewYear.

I’ve heard Mary’s Little Donkey spans through the Twelve Days of Christmas as well as Advent, and would like to add that resource next year for the kids.  I’d like to do more with the kids to bring more meaning to this time between the big Christmas celebration and Epiphany, but for now, I’m focusing on myself.

May you find peace and Light during this Season and always!

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