Gina Moore

Okay, I know many of you have already packed away your Christmas decorations, dusted the house and have stepped into 2020 determined to cut back on all that sugar you consumed last month.

Some of you have even bragged about it on social media. It’s an interesting time of year for sure, these days following Christmas. Is it really over?

As a “Christmas person,” I often find myself in somewhat of a funk after the tree comes down (ours hasn’t yet).

The house seems so bare, and I miss the beautiful glow of (those sometimes darned) Christmas lights. I know not everyone feels this way.

Many, including my husband, say they are relieved that another Christmas is in the books.

While I understand there are many factors influencing your decision about when to remove traces of Christmas from your home, let’s look for a moment at the 12 Days of Christmas most of us have grown up hearing and singing about.

Epiphany is a Christian holiday observed in many parts of the world and celebrated on Jan. 6. This celebration follows the 12 Days of Christmas.

Have you ever thought about the 12 Days of Christmas beginning on Christmas Day rather than ending on it? Yes, today is Day 9, the day the ladies dance. We still have Lords to leap, pipers to pipe and drummers to drum!

A quick Google search of Epiphany tells us the holiday is commonly known as Three Kings’ Day or the Feast of the Epiphany. It means “manifestation” or “showing forth.”

Epiphany refers not only to the day itself but to the church season that follows it — a season that has a varied length because it ends when Lent begins, and this depends on the date of Easter.

Epiphany, a public holiday in many countries, commemorates the first two occasions on which Jesus’ divinity, according to Christian belief, was manifested — when the three kings (also known as wise men or Magi) visited infant Jesus in Bethlehem, and when John the Baptist baptized him in the River Jordan.

The Roman Catholic and Protestant churches emphasize the visit of the Magi when they celebrate the Epiphany. The Eastern Orthodox churches focus on Jesus’ baptism.

In any case, Epiphany is one of the oldest Christian feasts. It was celebrated since the end of the second century, before the Christmas holiday was even established. (We may note that the holiday was established prior to the Gregorian calendar’s introduction.)

There’s always more of the story to learn, isn’t there? And, while I don’t believe there’s a right and wrong way to “do Christmas” — a right time to begin decorating and undecorating, etc., I do believe we should slow down our hustle and bustle long enough to consider … ponder … reflect … what it is we celebrate … who it is we celebrate.

For we certainly do have reason to celebrate the good news that, as the angel said, will cause great joy for all the people! Christ our Savior was born! Oh, what a manifestation! Oh, what an epiphany!

So, while I get it that those who decorate with live trees and greenery need to move them out of their homes ASAP after Christmas for safety reasons, and those who have full-time jobs like to have their homes tidy and back to normal by the time they return to work, let’s not be too eager to erase all traces of Christmas from our homes and lives.

May we carry into this new year the spirit of Christmas in our hearts…that beautiful glow of love that was born in a stable and was God’s gift to each of us.

May his light shine brightly within us, and may we radiate his love each day through the way we live and treat others. No, the beauty and glow of Christmas shouldn’t be packed away! Let it shine on!

Gina Moore, a news-editorial journalism major, has operated Marketplace Consignment Sale for 25 years and has worked part-time at Treasures. She also enjoys country cooking, reading and writing about motherhood, life on the farm and how God’s love and lessons surround residents.