STAR OF WONDER: AN EPIPHANY STORY - Extending the Christmas Season

Why Celebrate Epiphany?

The joyful energy of Epiphany has always inspired games and pageants, music and meals. It's a multi-cultural celebration (see Foods of the Season) because the Three Kings who followed the star to find the Holy Child came from different cultures and continents.

star of wonder Epiphany comes at the end of the Twelve Days of Christmas—on January 6th. Although American tradition focuses on Christmas Day as the primary day to give and receive gifts, in some southern European and Latin American cultures, Epiphany is actually the accepted time for gift-giving. Instead of expecting Santa Claus to deliver presents on Christmas Eve, children wait for the Three Kings to bring them gifts on Epiphany.

When my children were little, I could never finish all my shopping and planning by Christmas Day, so spreading out the celebration between Christmas and Epiphany became a happy solution (besides, it let me take advantage of post-Christmas sales). It also helped refocus Christmas Day on the Holy Birth instead of just the glut of presents.

Epiphany comes after older children are back in school, so it can feel like a special treat to have the holiday season extend into "ordinary time."

And if, by chance, you are separated from your children (or grandchildren) on Christmas itself, you still have the chance to share this very special holiday together.

Star of Wonder invites you to share Jesse's entry into the mystery of Epiphany. The suggested activities here on the website invite you to have fun celebrating this happy, holy season.

[Reader stories, photos, and feedback are welcomed at, this site's accompanying blog, hosted by Mary Lee Wile.]

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