Twelfth Night

Here’s one of my best Parent Hacks so far: Pretty much all of my friends who live far from one or the other set of parents have a dilemma about when to do their Christmas. When you’re at Grandma’s for the actual day, do you haul your immediate family presents with you and open them there? Do you do it the Saturday before you leave? Open presents with your kids and THEN drive four hours to be with family?

Last year, JC and I had the idea to hold our “family” Christmas on Twelfth Night. We love it for many reasons:

  • It’s pretty close to both of our birthdays, so we just have one big thing instead of messing around through all of January.
  • If there was anything we were hoping someone would get our kids for Christmas, we can acquire it during the twelve intervening days.
  • Children in many countries open their presents on January 6th, which is also known as Three Kings Day, or Epiphany. The presents are to remember the gifts brought to Jesus (fun fact: a Bible scholar just told me that the kings/magi/wise guys probably would have made a detour through Petra to get the frankincense).
  • It’s a nice way to officially close the season.
  • I’m a Shakespearean, and it’s Twelfth Night.
12th Night gift: An “egg harp” to replace the one he destroyed in the fall.


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