The 12 Days of Christmas

“Ack– I just want it GONE already….”


“I want my house back.”


“I need my living room floor space.”


“Just pack it all up!”


I keep reading these lamentations and more about all the Christmas decor.  We’ve been inundated with the stuff since before Halloween out in the retail world, for heaven’s sake, so it’s no wonder we’re just kind of “over it.”  While it was all glittery and new and bright with anticipation BEFORE Christmas, now that the paper is shredded and the wax melted down, it’s lost its luster.


But, for me, the days leading up to Christmas were too chaotic.  I’d planned my daughter’s “friend party” for the 23rd, had Christmas Eve (and her actual birthday) on the 24th, Christmas on the 25th, and the “family party” on the 26th.  While it was all wonderful, fun stuff, it also had me just this side of frantic the whole time.


But now?  If a stray candy cane wrapper has drifted under the couch… I don’t care.  If the ornaments are lopsided from frequent toddler rearrangement… it matters not to me.  And if we run out of milk or bread or eggs or apples… well, there’s no set-in-stone menu plan relying upon them.


I can pause.  Reflect.  Gaze at the Christmas tree lights without it reminding me of a dozen tasks I should be attending to.  I can nibble cookies with no concern about running out of this variety or that one.  I can let my girls wear fancy dresses for no reason at all and not waste a second fearing they’ll tear their tights.


So many view “The 12 Days of Christmas” as some kind of countdown to the big event, the days leading up to the birth of Jesus.  In fact, as I’m sure lots of you know, those twelve days are really the days between December 25 and January 6 (The Epiphany).


I seem to be doing a much better job of celebrating and honoring His birth in these days following Christmas than I did in the days leading up.


And so I’ll happily leave my decorations in place… they’re not bothering me at all.  In fact, I think I’m finally truly enjoying them.

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7 comments to The 12 Days of Christmas

  • Susie

    Amen! I feel the same, right down to the cookie nibbling :-)

  • One by one I watch my neighbors and friends put away Christmas, sometimes even starting on Christmas Day itself! It is our feeling here at this house, that we have until the day before Christmas Eve to get all the decorations out for Christmas. But after Christmas Day, there is absolutely no thought about taking things down until the day after January 6. The 12 Days of Christmas are the days to enjoy the lovely things one has. It is so much more pleasant then. No rushing around, no special cooking, no grumpy guests who don’t know when to go home! Yep, the 12 Days of Christmas are my favorite part of Christmas. My house never looks as good as it does at Christmas time. Why is everyone in such a hurry to put it away??

    • I am honestly considering keeping a string of lights out this year. I am so in love with their gentle, sparkly glow in the late evenings while my littles sleep and I sit with my husband. I don’t want to let it all go this year! There are no laws about Christmas lights, are there? ;)

  • Laraba

    We had three birthdays within a week of Christmas…yesterday was the last. I am quite burned out with celebrating but we made each day special and our 9 year old son said yesterday was great! So thankful. Now several of the kids are sick with mild colds and I am very happily hoping for quiet days at home today and tomorrow before I leap back into homeschooling on Tuesday. It has been a good holiday season but I’m ready for a “return to normalcy”! I think that is one reason why we do have celebrations periodically through the year. They are times to spend time with family and do special things, but we can’t do that stuff ALL the time.

    • The thought of all those birthdays makes me tired! :) We have three within a week of Christmas if I count my SIL and BIL but, in all honesty, those don’t really require much from me. Children’s birthdays are a whole different ballgame, though! And I do appreciate the return to normalcy… I’m just not in any great hurry this year. :)

  • I don’t think I ever truly enjoy my decorations and the lights on the tree until the first week of the new year. It is during that week that I have time to sit down, reflect and just enjoy. Everything leading up to that point is usually just too busy and stress inducing. I will return my house to normal during the second week of January. Hope you have a Wonderful New Year.

  • Carrie

    Our will stay up until New Years too, or maybe Epiphany, I haven’t decided. If I wait until Epiphany then the kids will be back in school – so does that mean I can do it in peace or that I don’t have help? LOL!

    My littlest turned 6 on December 13. To deal with the chaos and make sure he has his special day, we celebrate at the end of November and then just have some cupcakes or something on his actual birthday. This reduces the stress for me and helps it not get lost in Christmas. I love how even though you have Christmas Eve baby you make sure her birthday is special too!

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