Happy 12th day of Christmas (or blessed Epiphany, depending on when you read this).
I am not a card-carrying member of the liturgical police. I once took heed to some wisdom from one of my professors, Pat Keifert, that tradition is more of a trusted friend than a lord. I tend to look at the liturgical calendar that way. That cuts me off from some discussion in some of the circles in which I travel, but I'm not going to lose much sleep over it.
However, I do keep Christmas until the 12th day in one form or another, whether it be in my prayers or reflections, in music, in family traditions, or through a little gift that I share with Melanie. I cherish the lights a little bit more, savor a song about the Incarnation. The end of the 12th day is a bit melancholy for me--because winter seems a little less bright when the celebration is gone. I still love the cold darkness of the season, because the lights in the sky appear that much brighter. My oldest daughter and I used to say goodbye to Christmas time as we took the tree to a recycling point. We would say goodbye to Christmas, thank Jesus for being in our lives, and say we will celebrate again Jesus' birthday next year. That is okay with us, but we were still a little bit sad.
Epiphany for me is a time to encourage my fellow Christians to live out and be a piece of the Incarnation and be the light of Christ in the world when it is tempting to forget about serving the neighbor in January and February, when public discourse has gorged itself on end of the year giving and other generosity projects. Noble gifts, but they easily lose steam. We cannot lose heart. So the evening of the 12th day of Christmas is a little sad, but also a time to remember to not lose heart, the joy of living the Incarnation has only begun.