Did you know that gifts were often exchanged on January 6 and not on Christmas Day? Why? Because that is the date when the Epiphany is celebrated! It is basically the feast day when we celebrate the manifestation of the Lord to the Gentiles, represented by the magi (or kings, wise men) who came to venerate the Christ child.
January 6 is still the Epiphany today, but in many places in the world (the United States included) it is moved to the closest Sunday, which is today!! January 6 is also the end of the Twelve Days of Christmas. So Merry Christmas!! This is when many families will start taking Christmas decorations down.
In our house, we don't put the three kings we have into our nativity scene until January 6. We start taking some decorations down, but usually leave the nativity scene up a little longer since it's not even completed until this point. This year we didn't put much up since we were in the middle of a kitchen renovation and were going to be out of town for Christmas. But I had fun last year moving the wise men and the camels around the house, closer and closer to the nativity as we approached the Feast of the Epiphany. I look forward to doing it again next year, and especially when we have kids.
Want to more more about the Epiphany and why we celebrate it, how it came to be a feast day, and more? Check out this page I found with all sorts of interesting facts and history: All About Epiphany.
Happy Epiphany and Merry Christmas!!