Take time to enjoy all 12 days of Christmas

So you might be thinking today that the whole holiday season is behind us. Wrong.

Traditionally, the holiday season was not over until the Twelfth Day of Christmas.

I’d like to wish you all a happy Sixth Day of Christmas. That’s right. Today is the Sixth Day of Christmas, and I’m wondering how many eggs these six geese are going to lay. Perhaps I can make homemade noodles. However, these five golden rings from yesterday are kind of nice.

I don’t like it that modern customs have shifted the holiday season to earlier dates on the calendar. I guess it is the commercialization, trying to get us to spend, spend, spend.

The holiday seems to start earlier each year. Ornaments were for sale before the kids went back to school in August. Christmas decorations in the stores were next to Halloween costumes during October. Christmas carols on the radio started before Thanksgiving. Then, on Dec. 26, all the wonderful Christmas music suddenly stopped.

It used to not be like this. Historically, there really were 12 days of Christmas, a full dozen days of celebrating just like in the song.

Christmas Day was the first and Jan. 5 was the Twelfth Day, and it was the traditional day to take decorations down. Jan. 6 was celebrated as Epiphany, the day that the wise men arrived. Some local churches will observe Epiphany on Jan. 5.

One thing I do understand doing right after Christmas is taking down a dry Christmas tree that was live cut. Those things are terrible fire hazards and need to go out once they get dry.

Trees can be recycled or put in the back yard as a shelter for birds during the winter if your zoning allows.

According to Shelly Huntington, the new Bethel Township administrator, there are two local places that will recycle trees for free; Mad River Topsoil at 5625 Old Lower Valley Pike just off Ohio Route 4 and along the Mad River, and C & S Tree Service at 2551 Dayton Road in Mad River Township near Springfield.

Tomorrow night on the Seventh Day of Christmas, Dec. 31, western Clark County residents will gather on Main Street of New Carlisle to watch the huge illuminated ball drop and welcome 2014. And watch for those seven swans a swimming.

The ball drop event has grown every year into kind of a winter street fair complete with food vendors, the Tecumseh Band and now ice sculpting. It’s a great time to dress warm, wear boots, dance in the street and have fun with your neighbors.

There will be sobriety checkpoints all over this area over the next few days. Seems to me that it is a good idea to just pretend that there is a sobriety checkpoint on every street all year long. Please do not drink and drive, and please keep your eyes out for those who do. I know our deputies and police will be doing just that.

I’d really appreciate it if you all are not in too big of a hurry to take down your outside lights. People like me, who don’t thrive in the darkest part of the year, really do enjoy the twinkling lights on a long cold dark night.

Like I said, I really like extending the holiday a bit. After all the expense and preparation, we should sit back and enjoy our efforts.

And I’m not alone. Shakespeare liked Twelfth Night so much he wrote a play about it.

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