Our girls are excited. Epiphany comes this Sunday and with it comes the multitude of traditions and customs that are part of any family celebration. For us it's a time to get out the crowns, start baking, and begin the fun.
Titania and Tinkerbell make each member of the family a crown out of either foam or card board. With some of the larger members of the family this is no mean feat. Each crown is carefully cut out and covered in ‘jewels.’ These consist of anything from patty pans and paper shapes to sequins and glitter. These carefully made crowns will grace our heads at dinner.
Etcetera and I make the crown cake. This is usually an ordinary cake baked in the shape of a crown. When our cake is baked it’s time to decorate it. This is our favourite part because there are almost always some decorations left over. We use jelly sweets, freckles or any other sweets that will pass for jewels, and cover the cake liberally with these delicious treats.
Some people add a bean or a button to the cake. The person who receives the bean or button is the ‘king’ for the day and can decide what games are going to be played or what the family is going to do together.
Juliet sees to the gold gifts. Each person will receive a golden gift at dinner time. These will range from a chocolate in gold foil, to nuts in gold packaging, to some small treat wrapped in gold cellophane. These gifts sit by our plates until after dinner. Some years we save some Christmas crackers or bonbons and pull them on Epiphany. Really, it's almost like having Christmas all over again.
Finally, the three kings reach their destination after weeks of travelling round that house, hiding in the most unlikely of places. Now they give their unforgettable gifts to the baby Jesus.
For Epiphany Etcetera and I have made some Three Kings paper dolls to add to the nativity scene. They, like the original kings, bring their gifts to the infant king: Gold, Myrrh, and Frankincense. They come with their camel to adore the infant king.
Epiphany is only one of the many feast days in the Christmas season. Christmas doesn’t officially finish until the Baptism of our Lord on the 9th of January. It is important to us to remember that Christmas is not just one day, but many. Each day of the Christmas season should be celebrated as much as Christmas Day. So don’t take down the decorations just yet. We’ve still got over a week of Christmas to go.