“On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, 12 drummers drumming.”
Tradition says this refers to the 12 points of doctrine in the Apostles’ Creed (e.g., I believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord–that’s two points).
That may be, but I prefer to think of it as a drum roll to signify not so much the end of Christmastide as the movement from Christmas into the rest of life. Fortified by the certainty and joy of Jesus’ birth yet again and the presence of Christ in our lives, we go forward.
So often, we think of Christmas as something to get through (it can be a lot of work to be sure), and because we celebrate the birth so close to the end of our calendar year, we may forget that it is not actually the end of anything. Instead, like the birth it marks, it is a beginning–for the rest of our lives.
So, today, I say, “Merry Christmas and to all, a good life!”