It has been our habit of late years, to think of particular themes for each day of the 12 Days of Christmas, leading up to Epiphany. With each theme, we choose some kind of little "activity" to do. We’re now on the Second Day of Christmas, and the two themes for these days are "Reality" and "Unreality". It’s very easy to think of those two things in terms of the season–that unreal feeling when you don’t have to work, or if you get something really surprising; the unreal and surprising mystery of God becoming ordinary man like us; the reality of having to get back to the usual routine, the reality of a tiny baby growing up with a poor family…
By the way, did you know that Mary and Joseph were probably too poor to have a donkey? Plus, the word for "carpenter" actually comes closer to "brick-layer"–Joseph had a much less romantic career than we think. He was like a construction worker–he likely helped to build Herod’s theatres, etc. Reality.
Though many would say otherwise, we love to remind ourselves of this reality:
God breaking "through the walls of power in total weakness" (Nouwen), angels filling the sky, shepherds running everywhere in excitement–it really happened.
(The two activities we use:
-Light the Christ candle and let it burn all day, or all night,
-Take a walk and look at the stars, or the Christmas lights.)