Last year I did it before Christmas, but after I did some research, I realized that the journey of the wise men is traditionally celebrated for the 12 days following Christmas – hence the 12 days of Christmas!
This year I thought we’d extend the Christmas fun and try just that! Every day the boys are going to find the wise men looking in unusual places for baby Jesus.
The early North American colonists brought their version of the Twelve Days of Christmas over from England, and adapted them to their new country, adding their own variations over the year. For example, the modern-day Christmas wreath may have originated with these colonials. A homemade wreath could be fashioned from local greenery and fruits, if available, were added. Making the wreaths was one of the traditions of Christmas Eve; they would remain hung on each home’s front door beginning on Christmas Night (1st night of Christmas) through Twelfth Night (Jan 5) or Epiphany morning (Jan 6). As was already the tradition in their native England, all decorations would be taken down by Epiphany morning and the remainder of the edibles would be consumed. A special cake, the king cake, was also baked then for Epiphany.
There is a lot more history to the Epiphany celebration, and it is celebrated differently in different Christian traditions. For us this year, it will just involve some curious and accident-prone wise men!