Twelfth Night

Loving the holidays like we do, it’s always been hard to buckle down and put the Christmas stuff away. We just never felt quite ready to let it go. Then, a few years back, a good friend began this wonderful tradition of throwing a party that she called Twelfth Night. I had no idea what it was suppose to mean, but hey…I’m not so complicated that I over-think the purpose of a party. As an added benefit, this turned out to be a great incentive to let the decorations slip back into the tubs without the usual resistance because we still had a great event to look forward to…until…

…this friend moved away…far away.

Oh, we still hear from her now and then, which is wonderful. Even so, it left the “party junkies” at a negative – 1 in the celebration department.

Not acceptable.

So, with no other choice but to do the event ourselves, we felt that perhaps a tad more research was in order.

Turns out that Twelfth Night, also called Epiphany, or Three Kings Day, is a festival marking the biblical arrival of the Magi to worship baby Jesus. Typically recognized on either the 5th or 6th of January, many people celebrate by drinking, feasting, gift giving and general “merrymaking.” I really like the word merrymaking.

That, I get.

12th-night-068

So, since people all over the world celebrate this day in dozens of ways, there seems to be a bit of latitude here. I like that too.

Our approach is to use the evening of January 6th to:

1- Celebrate the closing of the holiday season. That is suppose to mean putting away all the Christmas stuff and setting up January decorations. We’re working on it.

2- Make and share *character goals–You know, the kind that help you be a better person, like–being more positive, or being less judgmental of others—that sort of thing.

3- Open Party Crackers–which you can buy at party stores or online, but that are also incredibly fun and easy to make. I’ll show you how in the post below. They are full of candy, games, toys and always…always a tissue paper crown. Very important element. We made our own.

4- Drink a gallon of  Wassail. No explanation needed.

5- Eat “King’s Cake.” Traditionally, this was more of a sweet bread with filling, but of course, it can actually be whatever you want it to be. More in the post below. Ours is a Glazed Holiday Eggnog Cake from Lehi Roller Mills.

6- Play games until it’s time to put somebody to bed—usually…me.

After all this, believe me–we are ready to take on the New Year, and the world…

or sleep for a week…

:]

*New Year’s Goal #2   “Character”

I will take my own advice and “be nice or be quiet” while mingling with the other drivers on the road. No matter how amazingly everyone else drives, I will keep my mouth shut and not say, “The nuts are loose!” Not even once.

New Year’s Goals

According to legend, a young man while roaming the world came across a spring of delicious crystal-clear water. The water was so sweet he filled his leather canteen so he could bring some back to a tribal elder who had been his teacher. After a four-day journey he presented the water to the old man who took a deep drink, smiled warmly and thanked his student lavishly for the sweet water. The young man returned to his village with a happy heart.

Later, the teacher let another student taste the water. He spat it out, saying it was awful. It apparently had become stale because of the old leather container. The student challenged his teacher: “Master, the water was foul. Why did you pretend to like it?”

The teacher replied, “You only tasted the water. I tasted the gift. The water was simply the container for an act of living-kindness and nothing could be sweeter.”

Self-motivation without gratitude is impossible. Our energy is “sapped” when our entire focus is on what’s wrong instead of what is right with our lives. One of our greatest challenges is to live and love in spite of pain and disappointment…to find gratitude in the midst of it all.

Reflect for a moment on this beautiful quote from Melody Beattie:

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

New Year’s Goal #1  Gratitude.

I will keep a gratitude journal and each day record at least one blessing, one joy or one example of “the Lord’s hand in my life.”

President Eyring’s talk about gratitude