Twelfth Day of Christmas
Growing up, we celebrated Christmas as a religious holiday. We didn't put up the Christmas tree until Christmas Eve, put the presents under the tree, then had a family dinner and a short program. My mother would play the piano, my father would read the Christmas story from Luke, and all the kids would do something, usually something from a church or school program. Then we would open the presents. All on Christmas Eve.
Christmas Day was a church day, and a large family gathering at my Grandpa's. The present giving thing didn't have a place, that was over. We would leave our tree up the whole 12 days of Christmas, taking it down on Epiphany. It wasn't one day of blow out consumerism and then it's over, as it seems to be so common these days. Anyway, I wanted to do the whole 12 days in my blog, so regular readers would get a sense of what the actual observance is supposed to be.
Lately, my wife has been growing a Norfolk Island Pine in a container for our Christmas tree. She puts it out in the summer, and brings it inside for the winter as it is tropical and tender. When it starts brushing the ceiling, we cut back the tallest stem and a lower one grows in.