Celebrating Epiphany is a special way to wrap up the Christmas season. Try one or all of these this year!
Christmas isn’t over yet, y’all. We’ve got one more celebration to have, and it’s one of my favorite: Epiphany, the day when the wise men reached the Christ Child with their gifts.
I didn’t celebrate Epiphany growing up, so over the years I’ve gotten creative with some ways to make it special. Here are a few of my favorite ways to celebrate this special day with your whole family.
1. GO TO MASS
This one might be obvious, but it’s still the most important. Going to Mass as a family on Epiphany is the best way to make the holiday both real and holy for your family, so don’t let it get lost in the shuffle. Make this priority number one.
2. MOVE THE WISE MEN TO JESUS
One of my favorite Christmas traditions Is to have the Wise Men journey around the house towards the Nativity scene during the Christmas season. After Christmas, they get gradually closer to the manger and on Epiphany, the youngest child in the family gets to move them to the Christ child. It’s a visual way to remind us all that the Christmas season doesn’t end with the birth of Christ, and having the Magi finally join Mary, Jesus, and Joseph is a special way to wrap up Christmas.
3. GIVE GIFTS TO GODPARENTS
Since the Wise Men brought gifts to the Christ child, whom they didn’t fully understand but knew was important for the entire world, have your kids identify people who have a special spiritual significance in their lives. My kids usually choose their godparents, but for yours it might be an aunt, priest, or Sunday school teacher – the important thing is not to impose your opinions but to let your child choose for themselves. Help them prepare a special gift for that person ahead of time, so on Epiphany day your children can deliver their gifts just like the Wise Men delivered gifts to the Christ child.
4. READ AN EPIPHANY STORY OR POEM
Even though my kids like to to think they’ve outgrown bedtime stories, they all still love hearing stories read aloud to them. Every year I choose a different story or poem to read them before we have Epiphany bread. Get creative in your search … don’t stick with Amahl and the Night Visitors year after year. There are plenty of stories and poems out there, so go explore! (Word to the wise: T.S. Eliot’s “The Journey of the Magi” is probably not your best choice here — it’s an extraordinary poem but a real downer, so maybe choose something more upbeat!)
5. CHALK YOUR DOOR
The popularity of this Epiphany tradition speaks to its enduring appeal. Some parishes bless chalk and send it home with their parishioners — if yours doesn’t, ask your priest to bless some chalk ahead of time. The traditional inscription is “20 + C + M + B + 20.” The crosses stand for Christ, the numbers at the beginning and end signify the current new year, and C, M, B are the traditional initials of the Magi as well as the abbreviation for the Latin blessing, “Christus mansionem benedicat” (May Christ bless this house). It’s a beautiful way to consecrate your home and family to Christ for the upcoming year, and to help you all remember what really matters — not just at Christmas, but all year long.