The Twelve Feast Days of Christmas
Liturgically speaking, a smorgasbord follows the nativity of the lord.
The stores and malls are decorated in green and red. Lighted Santas and reindeer adorn the lawns and rooftops of the neighborhood. Cookies and gingerbread are baking in the oven and the TV shopping channels are hawking trees, ornaments and wreaths. The Christmas season has arrived.
Or has it?
Contrary to what advertisers and salespeople may tell you, the actual liturgical season of Christmas begins with the vigil Mass on Christmas Eve and concludes on the feast of the Baptism of the Lord in early January. The peak of the real Christmas season is January 6—Epiphany—the end of “Twelvetide,” celebrated in the popular Christmas carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” Perhaps an alternative—if not more accurate—song for that same time period could be “The Twelve Feast Days of Christmas,” since the Church celebrates beyond Christmas Day, the birth of the Savior, to include several important saints, solemnities, and memorials during this period.