Friday, January 6, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Today is the Twelfth of Christmas!  The day you get your true love 12 Drummers Drumming!  So, this is for my honey:

Smiley from Smiley from (This one needs to work on his attitude)  (Wow, this one loves drumming!) (ending on a big note!)

Of course, the big significance of today is the wise men meet Jesus and give him gifts. I remember as a kid how much fun these 12 days were; people visiting, calling, my mom and dad sharing the Christmas season with so many friends.  It was special and fun, and it led up to today; they told me it was Little Christmas (I guess I had trouble saying Epiphany).  In many cultures, it's the day people have their big Christmas celebration, having held festivities since December 24th.

My family follows the tradition of not putting Jesus in the nativity until Christmas.  A friend of mine has a tradition of not putting the Wise Men in the nativity until today.  Wish I had thought of that! He'll even hide the wise men in a friend's nativity if they put them out before the Epiphany, and calls them today to say where they're hidden. LOL!

I once found a drawing that I love showing a more accurate version of that moment, with little Jesus hanging on to Mary's skirts as the magi approached the door. The charm and feeling to it.... it still stays with me, and I enjoy thinking about it.  I know that they weren't kings, they didn't arrive when he was a baby, and we don't know how many really came that day. This is all Matthew wrote:

Behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem.

No mention of how many, just more than 1, that's all we know.  Doesn't say they came riding on camels either.

Matthew 2:11 states:

And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him . . .

Not the stable, their house.  And young child, not newborn, not baby.

That's the first that grabbed my attention: how different the truth was and then the sweet, beautiful appeal to it. I'm not surprised our customs are so different than what was described.  I know Jesus wasn't born on December 25th either (we stole that from Horace and Mithras) and Herod probably never had a Massacre of the Innocents.  I like the image of a toddler Jesus, home with his mother, when these men (2? 5? 20?) come to him.

Here's another little odd tidbit. When I hear the word for wise men is magi, I start picturing these magi:

The way they were depicted in the Mummy.  Can you imagine these guys showing up at Mary and Joseph's house?  :)

In the end, here's what it's important: Merry Christmas to my friend Maria and everyone else celebrating today, the day chosen for little Jesus receiving his gifts from the wise men.