There is another fallacy connected with that song, however, that is more serious. I once asked a class of children if they knew the song, and everyone did. I then asked if they knew when the twelve days of Christmas started. They counted back from Christmas day, and all agreed that it began on December 13. But instead, we are now in the Twelve Days. Our society puts so much emphasis on the shopping and the preparation that we have consider Christmas to start the day after Thanksgiving. One result is that we lose Advent, but the other is that we think we are finished with Christmas as soon as December 26 comes around. Now, I have nothing against “after-Christmas sales.” I just wish we could remember that Christmas is a season in the Church’s year.
The Christmas season runs up until the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, which this year will fall on Sunday, January 11. Those last days of the season will serve as something of a transition back to Ordinary Time, but the major celebration in the Church’s calendar is meant to last until the Epiphany of the Lord. Although we now celebrate it on a Sunday, its “proper” day is January 6 (which would then be a Holy Day of Obligation). This year the Sunday is January 4, so we lose the last two days. There will be no twelve drummers drumming or eleven pipers piping.
The point is that we are now in the Twelve Days of Christmas. Please don’t be so eager to rush through “the holidays” that we forget that it is still Christmas. We are still celebrating the Nativity of the Lord. The Incarnation of the Lord is such a major part of our faith that we cannot let the season go by with just one day. So as I did in last week’s bulletin, I again send my wishes for a blessed Christmas season to all of you.
Also, please keep in mind that January 1 is the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God. That day is a holy day of obligation. Masses for the Holy Day will be New Year’s Eve at 4:00 PM and New Year’s Day at 8:00 and 11:00 in the morning.