12 Days of Christmas Controversy

The alternate title for this post could be holiday hangover.  Someone used that recently, and I totally identify with the phrase!  While I adore all of the friends, family, food and festivities, the hustle and bustle of the season wears me down.  We still have three celebrations to go.

So, the controversial part.   Growing up Catholic, I knew the 12 days of Christmas as December 25th – January 5th, with the Christmas season being proclaimed OVER with the arrival of Epiphany on January 6th.   However, I know Amy counts in the opposite direction, with December 25th being the 12th and ultimate day of Christmas.    I’ve seen it done that way elsewhere, but Amy is the one who clearly pops into my holiday hungover head.


A friend's coveted Christmas pin

It doesn’t REALLY matter.  In the grand scheme of life, I’m positive we’ll all still have holiday festivities from Thanksgiving into the New Year most years.  I’m just curious and love a good discussion.  I also really enjoy hearing how others celebrate and why.

I know some pack up the decorations when they throw out the boxes and wrapping paper on December 26th.  I know gMarie doesn’t even bring her sweet live tree in until Christmas Eve.  Others honor superstitions and traditions and get all of Christmas out of the house (so to speak) before  the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve.   How does it work at your house? 

I have a final update about a family I’ve mentioned from time to time.  There’s a new star in the sky or another Christmas angel to watch over us all.  Some of you may remember “Hope” from a couple of years ago.   (No, I couldn’t find the original post where I explained, but… here’s one mention.)  Since I have a few newer readers…  “Hope” was six when she was diagnosed with a rather aggressive cancer.  The prognosis was never more optimistic than driving the dread disease into remission long enough for a cure to be found, and we’ve known for a few weeks that there wouldn’t be another remission this time.  Yesterday, that sweet, strong angel lost her fight.


Poppet, knitted for Faith by gMarie

Her family appreciated all the knitting, goodness and prayers that were sent her/their way over the course of her struggle.  I’m asking now that in whatever way is meaningful for you, that you lift them up so the universe can hold them together through a VERY difficult time.   I’m especially worried about “Faith”, her younger sister, who has lost her best friend…

We didn’t know Hope as well as some, but we were blessed to be on the receiving end of her goodness and light, her smiles and laughter.  She’s touched SO many lives and I have no doubt that she’s already watching over us, smiling and wishing we’d stop mourning and get on with living and loving, and spreading goodwill and cheer to each other.

Be patient with us, sweetie.


16 comments on “12 Days of Christmas Controversy

  1. ::cry:: – Sweet Hope, her life was too short. Been doing everything I can to lift their family up.

    Holidays – I try to decorate the house after Thanksgiving, but you are right – no tree until the 23rd or 24th and then it goes quickly back out – this year it was back outside getting cold again by the 26th. All decorations are to be down and properly put away by January 1st. It’s just my rule. I added some new decorations this year so it will be a challenge.

    Have no idea what we’ll do for New Year’s Eve. The last couple of years we have gone to a poker party, but haven’t been invited yet this year, maybe I’ll email my friend and ask – tacky, eh? g

  2. Sue says:

    When I was younger, we brought the tree in around the middle of December and on New Year’s Day we untrimmed it. It was something to do during a long day while the men usually watched football and snoozed.

    Now we have artificial trees for my health and when we put them up (didn’t this year) we do it early in December and leave them up thru January. The reason is mainly that we enjoy them especially at night. The glow of the Christmas lights on the tree are so warm and make me feel content. One year we left the tree up till March 1st. I don’t remember why, but there must have been some good reason.

  3. SusanB-knits says:

    Our prayers and thoughts go out to Hope’s family.

    Our holiday tradition has us keeping the tree up until Jan 6th. I like to see the twinkling lights for a while after Christmas Day. And my mother said we needed to leave it up until the Wise Men came.
    (I always thought the twelve days of Christmas were the days between Christmas and Epiphany.)

  4. Katherine says:

    Hope’s family will be in my heart and prayers through this coming year. We lost our precious daughter Carrie to sudden cardiac arrest 12 years ago this New Year’s day, and the pain has never gone away. Losing a child is the most painful thing that can happen to a parent and it doesn’t matter whether the loss is expected or sudden, the hurt is blinding!! Sweet angel Hope will be watching over all those who knew and loved her.

    As for holiday hangover–I’m afraid I must admit to too much of a hang-over. We often do not get the Christmas decorations put away for at least a week after the first of the year. I tell people that I just enjoy Christmas so much that I can’t bear to part with the outward trappings. The truth is more along the lines of exhaustion!!

  5. Amy says:

    That is terrible – to lose a child so young. My heart goes out to her family.

    Holiday hangover? Yeah, I have to agree. I need to clean up the house, pack things away for another year. Don’t ask me why, but I feel the need to take everything down and pack it away the moment that Christmas is over. The day after … I want it gone. I feel awful about that, but I think I just get a little over-load with all that there is to do.

    Not that I’ll ever stop doing it. 🙂

  6. kari says:

    I think its horrible to loose a child and terribly sad. My thoughts and prayers are with them.

    I remember growing up putting the tree up the day after thanksgiving -I still do it and the tree goes down before new years eve – I still follow that too 🙂

  7. Mary says:

    Sending thoughts and prayers for Hope and her family. Such a heartbreaking struggle.

    We decorate around my birthday (couple of weeks before Christmas) and take it all down around Epiphany (or closest weekend date to the 6th). Jake the Staffie has been inordinately interested in the tree environs this year. We are lucky it is still up given the number of times he has crawled under it (presents stomped and torn), jumped up next to it (to look out the window), and knocked off the lower hanging ornaments. A regular bull in a china shop.

  8. Prayers for all who knew and loved Hope continue. As to Christmas decorations…they go up when they do each year, which varies greatly, but most of the time the tree and all remain up until the first trash day after New Years. I love the lights…

  9. AlisonH says:

    So glad they had her, and I’m so sorry she’s gone on.

  10. Marjie says:

    We put our tree up in late December, and leave it up until the weekend before the Superbowl. Why? Because the kids liked to have the celebration continue for a while, and now it’s considered almost sacreligious to take the tree down “early”. Like Sue, I do enjoy having it around.

    And I reiterate my prayers for Hope, and especially for little Faith. G’s little animal for her is very cute.

  11. Susan, says:

    Hope and Faith are both in our prayers.

    I LOVE the coveted basset pin!!!

    Christmas goes up Thanksgiving weekend and comes down New Years Day. Of course, that is the years that I decorate!!!

  12. km says:

    I’d read their last Caring Bridge post and wondered if she’d hang on for Christmas. I’ll be thinking about “Faith” and praying for her. So hard for a little one to loose a sister. “Hope” is without pain…and that’s what I’ll focus on.

    We finally found a little 4 legged friend for our family. She doesn’t have a name yet…but I’m thinking I’ll have to resurrect my blog for her. It’s going to be a busy year. (I’ve got a 2 photos up on FB)

  13. gypsyknits says:

    Praying hard that Hope’s family finds peace. No matter how prepared one believes they are, no one is prepared for a child to leave the world so early in Life.

    I grew up with the tradition of Santa putting up and decorating the tree on Christmas Eve long after we were in bed. hmmm….wonder why my parents were so exhausted on Christmas if Santa did all the work ;).

    Since the youngest daughter has been away at college and wants to decorate the tree we’ve resorted to Thanksgiving decorating. Our youngest son was born on Jan 2 so it was tradition for many years to leave the tree up until after his birthday. Time has gone by and I strive for Jan 2 to have everything put away. Not happening this year so it will come down when it comes down (more than likely after Jan 6).
    I try to not have a specific time to take down the decorations, it seems to diminish the holiday for me.
    In the meantime I’m soaking up Christmas ;). It will soon be behind us.

  14. Blond Duck says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss.

  15. Nichole says:

    Typing thru the tears… so very, very sorry that “Hope” has now flown to the angels……. xoxo

  16. Bubblesknits says:

    I’m just now seeing this. I’m so sorry to hear about Hope. 😦 As a parent and mother to a little girl…I can’t even begin to imagine the horror and pain her loved ones are dealing with. I wish them peace and understanding in the New Year.

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