This week on Facebook, we asked if you have any end-of-holiday or Epiphany traditions of note. Several responses were around the wise men.
Kathleen Corbett wrote,
My grandparents used to take the 3 wise men out of the Nativity set, and put them on a shelf clear across the room. After Christmas, every day they'd move them a little closer, until Epiphany, when the wise men got to join the rest of the little statues at the manger. Then into the box they went, until next year.
The key to moving wise men, Anne Madison says, is that it helps if they have flexible attitudes about their environs.
For years, the Wise Men made an epic journey across the top of the piano to the manger. This year, we have moved, and our piano isn't with us any longer. They seem to have adapted well to their new journey across the bookcase.
Monica Irwin notes a Swedish tradition:
The ... custom is to have a "plunder party" for kids at Epiphany. The Christmas tree typically is decorated with goodies, and the children dance around the tree and plunder it of goodies and then throw it out the door. The songs and dances don't translate well (one involves imitating frogs), but kids sure like plundering the tree and throwing it out.
Me, too, Monica. (With prayers and water, the tree at our house made it past Epiphany in fine fettle.)
While we're on the subject, Elizabeth Kaeton's "Little Christmas" explanation and recap is worth running over to check out.
When our children started to marry and have their own children, I said, "Okay, so here's my Christmas present to you: Spend Christmas wherever you want. At home. With your in-laws. With us. It's okay. Just circle the weekend closest to The Epiphany and we'll celebrate "Little Christmas" together, as a family."
That has worked out very well - for everyone involved. Not only are the children happy not to be confronted with the dilemma of which parental unit with whom to spend Christmas, we all get to be together as a family to celebrate Little Christmas.
It also helps to free me up from the usual liturgical frenetics of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. And, oh by the way, the post-Christmas sales are fantastic. Even wrapping paper is on sale. And, you can take your time wrapping presents - although I admit, I was wrapping presents last night. Procrastinators are repeat offenders.
She ends with a recipe for what appears to be a killer seafood paella, one of the lobster tails being reserved for "the cook."