The celebration of Christmas doesn’t need to end on Christmas Day. Christmas Day actually marks the beginning of this season! The season of Christmastide begins on Christmas Day and lasts for 12 days leading up to the Day of Epiphany which is January 6th.
Christmastide, the second season of the Christian year follows Advent and is a season of praise and thanksgiving for the incarnation of God in Jesus Christ, and consists of Christmas on December 25 and the eleven days following for a total of 12 days, leading up to the Day of Epiphany. The liturgical color for the Christmas season is white or gold, to represent the purity of Christ’s humanity and the holiness of His divinity. The symbol for the Christmas season is the manger.
To reflect and count down the 12 Days of Christmas, make a paper chain from 12 strips of paper. On each of the 12 strips write a different name for Jesus on the back. Countdown the 12 days of Christmas, from Christmas Day until Epiphany on January 6th by reading a scripture about a name for Jesus on each link of the paper chain.
THE VINE ~John 15:5
THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD ~ Matthew 16:16
EMMANUEL ~ Mathew 1:23
PRINCE OF PEACE ~ Isaiah 9:6
THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE ~ John 14:6
THE BREAD OF LIFE ~ John 6:35
ALPHA AND OMEGA ~ Revelation 1:8
LIGHT OF THE WORLD ~ John 8:12
KING OF KINGS ~ Revelation 17:14
MESSIAH ~ John 4:25
SAVIOR OF THE WORLD ~ 1 John 4:14
THE GOOD SHEPHERD ~ John 10: 11
As you read each day’s scripture, wonder together about that name for Jesus and how you experience Jesus in that way. Pray together, asking God to help you see Jesus and your celebration of Christmas in each day’s scripture and name for Jesus.
On Epiphany Day, January 6, start a new family tradition called Chalking the Door. Chalking the door is a blessing with a short liturgy for marking our homes, usually at the front or main entrance, with sacred signs and symbols as we ask God’s blessing upon those who live, work, or visit throughout the coming year.
Each of these links are great resources for this family blessing:
Epiphany is the third season of the Christian year and begins with the feast of the Epiphany on January 6 and continues until the eve of Ash Wednesday, which begins Lent. Epiphany refers to the Star of Bethlehem appearing after the birth of Jesus and to the dove, tongues of fire, and voice of God appearing at His baptism.
The liturgical color for Epiphany Day is white. The color for the season of Epiphany is green to signify the growing Church and the spreading of the Gospel. The symbol of the season after Epiphany is the baptismal font, signifying the baptism of new believers in the Gospel.