Twelfth Day of Christmas Celebrations!

The winter holidays aren't over yet!  Not for me!

And not for my friend Debbie, who also still has a tree standing in her living room! And lights shining from the trees in her yard!

I don't know why Christmas must be over on December 26th!  Read Debbie's post!  You might decide to join us for an extended holiday next year!

My Holiday wreath is still hanging on the door!

My 2' tall mini tree is still bringing me joy as I snuggle in bed at the end of the day.

And the "Seasonal Tree" is literally groaning under the weight of all the ornaments I have added to its not so many branches this year!  I suspect it will in fact be quite happy when I convert it into a "bird tree" or a "Valentine tree"!

  January 6th is actually the 12th day of Christmas
and in many cultures, Christmas isn't over until this day - also know as Epiphany. Worldwide Gourmet shares Epiphany traditions and recipes from around the world here.

In Mexico January 5th is known as Dia De Reyes
(Day of the Three Kings). You won't want to miss Angie's post in which she shares her family's celebration. 

I especially found it fascinating that there is a figure hidden inside the special bread eaten on this holiday - reminded me of Margit's Danish tradition of hiding an almond in the rice pudding!  And although the Mexican children don't receive their gifts until the morning of the 6th, they send letters via balloon!  And place their shoes around the Christmas tree! 

Hummmmm... where have I seen that before - o yes!

The children of Italy also receive their gifts on January 6th
!  But the gifts are dropped down the chimney by La Befana who is something of a Christmas witch. Check out some fabulous illustrations of La Befana here!

So the story goes, the Three Wise Men stopped by her cottage and invited her to join them.  But, being in a "witchy" mood, she declined.  However, very soon after, she had a change of heart but the Three Wise Men were no where to be found.  La Befana, still to this day searching for the Baby Jesus, leaves little gifts for good children just in case one of them is the Christ Child.

Learn more about Christmas in Italy here, here and here!

During the 12 days of Christmas, I have been rescuing ornaments from the Land of Unmade Ornaments!  Rescues so far include these two Kanzashi made with fabrics left over from the Advent Calendar stash.  The red one was made for Diane !

And these two sweet little hearts were inspired by my friend Joanie!  I made the "hexies" from Advent Calendar left overs and mounted them on hearts made from some lovely wool felt fabric I scored at the Pendleton Mill Store.  Joanie's hexie how-to is right here!

Diane's heart is the one on the left!  And I think both of these should qualify to be entered in this year's Holiday Handmade Crusade.  Sarah just announced the  January theme which is small gifts or ornaments or stocking stuffers that you can tuck away until the holidays!  I already gave Diane her ornaments but they still count - right?

And speaking of Diane!  She has just helped me set up a Flicker pool!  Yay!  So I am inviting everyone who has made anything using one of the tutorials from Gingerbread Snowflakes to please, please share and post a photo!

We have a few other changes in the site coming soon - but probably after Diane's new on-line Craft Blog Tune-Up Class is completed!  She has made some beautiful changes to her site and I love not only how beautiful it is but how much easier it is to find things - especially for technically challenged people like me!

Diane is committed to sharing  tools with all of you who want to start the new year out with a "new and improved" blog!  Check out the topics to be covered right here! Class begins January 18th! Don't miss out!


Coming soon on Gingerbread snowflakes!

Alice Merrino of Future Girl and Rachael Klein of  One Pretty Thing have, by means of Alice's recent post  and Rachael's comment left on the recent holiday interview on Crafty Pod,  encouraged  me to share how I organize my own blog and plan my posts a year in advance!  It's a great system and I hope some of you will find it as helpful as I do!

I wish each and every one the best year ever!  I know it will be for me because I will be spending it with YOU!


Whew - I had to save this

Whew - I had to save this until now when I had time to read it all and follow those links! I *LOVE* learning about how other cultures celebrate the holidays. I find it so interesting. I had never heard of 'La Befana' before, from Italy. What a hoot!

P.S. Thanks for the Holiday Handmade Crusade shout out - your saved ornaments are lovely. XO!

Yay Pam! I'm so excited

Yay Pam! I'm so excited you've started a Flickr pool. I'm also excited to be helping in my tiny way to adorn your beautiful holiday home. I must make more time for blog reading and check out Alice and Rachel's posts. I want to know more about your organizing system too - or can you just do mine for me? Really, I just need you living next door don't you think?

Yes! Definitly! I would love

Yes! Definitly! I would love it - neighbors I mean!  But since there is a big ocean between us - that probably won't happen.  I AM gratedful we have found eachother  by means of the virtual crafty world and can share a friendship and inspiration and of course walks in the English countryside!

Oh! Also, did you see the

Oh! Also, did you see the review of Diane's Kanzashi book over at iHanna's blog? fabulous!

YOU! I love it! I have my

YOU! I love it! I have my Christmas village and snow up, and lighted every night! And my holiday candle arrangement. I am just now learning about Epiphany, and I didn't know about Jan. 5th! Isn't it lovely, for people like us who want to magic of winter holidays to last longer. Even seeing photos of snow makes me a bit nostalgic for weather!

Pam, thank you for your blog and your year of holidays. I look forward to your next blog year!

And it's not over yet!  Many

And it's not over yet!  Many Scandinavians are still celebrating the holiday until the 13th!  January 13th was declared the official last day of Christmas over 1000 years ago by a very wise Danish king!

Pam, that tree is simply

Pam, that tree is simply astounding! What a wonderful photo.

Hey, my tree is still up

Hey, my tree is still up also! I just love to leave its lights on in the evening, it gives such a sense of warmth.
I posted in the group pool the stars that my 4th girls made in December. They had a great time making them.
Oh, Pam, so many beautiful traditions all over the world. I just love reading your blog, and learning so many things!
Thanks so much...

Oh Angie, the yarn stars you

Oh Angie, the yarn stars you posted in the flicker pool are fabulous!  I can see that your students really got inspired with this craft!  I still can't believe a couple of them made stars 12 inches wide!  Brilliant!  Their ideas have inspired me with lots of new ideas and possibilities!

Thank you so much for taking the time to share.

I will certainly follow your

I will certainly follow your blog for 2010 and can't wait to read this blog planning post of yours! :-) Wow... planning for a year, this is amazing!

Here, in Québec (Canada), our Christmas ends on January, 6th. Right after "La fête des rois" which means "The King's celebration" and is our Epiphany.

It's funny because, with this whole mondialisation thing, we're starting to think that everything is starting to be the same all over the planet. We unfortunately tend to forget about our cultural differences. Thank you for sharing yoru knowledge about different cultures, Pam. :-)

Now if only I can inspire

Now if only I can inspire celebration of the differences through adopting and including holiday customs from other cultures into  holiday festivities!

I love the idea of January

I love the idea of January sixth. That only makes me one day late in taking down my tree. I just can't part with it, I'm having the hardest time. i think I'll cut off some branches and make a wreath to keep for awhile..

I'm so excited to read about your organization system!!!

Oh Rachel, I have the hardest

Oh Rachel, I have the hardest time parting with mine too!  My brother always cut about a foot or so off the trunk and saved it until the following year, burning it on Christmas Eve.  I believe this is an old custom he discovered somewhere,  One year he even made little candle holders out of slices of his tree as gifts to everyone in the family! 

So - YES! save those branches, make a wreath!  Dependinhg on the species of the tree, the wreath can last a long time (dried of course)!  I once had one I kept for a full year.  It dried out but was beautiful!  The following year - I sprayed it silver!

My Christmas ends between Jan

My Christmas ends between Jan 10thand 12th. I have never taken my tree down before the 6th. I agree with you, why do we have to make it such a "rush holiday". We shop for so long, and painstakingly decorate - so we should have a longer period of relaxing in our creations.