Tomorrow is Epiphany, the last day of the Christmas season for most Christians. Aside from going to Mass tomorrow, I have been contemplating different ways we can spend our time celebrating epiphany as a family.
Un-decorating the Christmas Tree
One thing that will most likely happen is taking down the Christmas tree to mark the end of the season. I’ll miss sitting at night looking at the lights, but am comforted by the thought that the outside white lights will be staying up and can give me that same ‘feeling’ by glancing out our living room window.
The upside is that the room will look a little less full and might help me get more motivated to keep purging and organizing the different rooms in my house.
Bake a King’s Cake
Having spent many of my formative years in Louisiana, king cakes are a staple of the time from Epiphany until Ash Wednesday. Why not celebrate Epiphany by baking your own king’s cake with the kids and have it for dessert after a nice family dinner?
I’ll share a favorite king cake recipe after I’ve baked and photographed it, but for now here are a few links:
Emeril Lagasse’s King Cake at Food Network * I love the use of a pecan half instead of a plastic baby in his!
Sing (or Listen) to Songs for Epiphany
Pull out those cassettes and CDs of Christmas music and play just the tunes that fit with Epiphany. Or, if you are musically inclined, gather around the piano to sing those tunes. We Three Kings is definitely the best known, but there are other options available too.
Need a playlist? Here are a few to get you started:
We Three Kings
Do You Hear What I Hear?
I Saw Three Ships
Angels from the Realms of Glory
As With Gladness Men of Old
What Child is This?
Read an Epiphany Story
I’m going to pull Anthony DeStefano’s Little Star off the shelf to read with the boys. We were sent this book to review when it launched last year and it’s a darling story. (Check out my review of Little Star if you missed it before!)
We might also re-read the Gospel reading (Matthew 2: 1-12) as a family as sometimes the boys are not fully paying attention during Mass. Maybe J can even ‘act out’ the story with our kid friendly Nativity set before we pack it up for storage.
Bless Your Home on Epiphany
Using a piece of chalk, mark the frame of your door as follows:
20 + C + M + B + 13
You can find a prayer service to be used for the house blessing on Catholic Culture. The letters “C+M+B” are for the Latin Christus Mansionem Benedicat (Christ bless this house). At the same time the letters are the first letters of the names of the wise men: Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar. Regardless of the initial symbolism, the marking should remind us to come and go with Christ in all we do.
Our pastor has blessed chalk available after Masses for people to take home and do the marking.
How will YOU be celebrating Epiphany as a family this year? Or, do you have a family tradition to share?
This post is also linked up to the 40 Days of Seeking Him Advent Season 2012 meme for week five. I hope you will come back to share more during this season of Advent.