Today, January 6th, is called Little Christmas in Ireland. In other parts of the world it is called the Epiphany and Three Kings Day. The Irish call it Little Christmas because today is the day we take our Christmas trees down. I am talking about the 70’s and 80’s now. I wonder if the Irish still do this?
By the time our tree was relieved of its ornaments and lights it was a sorry and sad-looking article. But nevertheless I was always sad to see it go. The crib too; we call the manger a crib, you might call it a stable, whatever, was taken down on this night.
The only thing I appreciated about having no Christmas tree was not being able to see its twinkling lights reflecting on the television screen, but the window looked bare. But look on the bright side, I thought, the days are getting longer and you’ll be able to play outside for longer too. At least I was a “glass is half full” type of girl!
So in “reality” the three wise men reached Bethlehem on this day and had a collective brain wave, an Epiphany if you will. They found the baby Jesus laying in a manger, wrapped in swaddling clothes and Mary and Joseph at his side, along with a few shepherds, a cow, a sheep, a donkey, ♫and a partridge in a pear tree.♫ ‘Twas crowded, yes, but warm, and smelly too. If someone asked you to move your ass so they could get closer to the baby, they probably meant the donkey.
Led by a star the three wise men found Him in Bethlehem on the night of January 6th, so ending their long journey and ending Christmas. All decorations and trees must come down on this night according to Irish tradition. The Epiphany, the big idea, is that the last persons who were supposed to find the baby Jesus had found him. Now life would continue on as “normal.”
According to five wise Englishmen, the three wise men went to the wrong stable, manger, or crib; whatever, first. “Roll the tape!”