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Last night—January 5—marked the evening before Epiphany when the Biblical Kings reached the newborn Christ Child.

thIn medieval and Tudor England, Twelfth night marked the end of a winter festival that started on All Hallows Eve or as we know it, Halloween. Now we don’t exactly celebrate a winter festival, but that period between Halloween and tonight is generally referred to as “the holidays.”

There’s a lot to love about “the holidays” : It’s a time of parties, parades, and family get togethers and gifting and big meals on fine china— a time of spiritual renewal, of counting our blessings, of communicating with old friends, of charitable impulse.But let’s face it; in many ways it is exhausting.

They used to indulge in raucous merrymaking on Twelfth Night. Most of us don’t feel quite up to that. But  if you had a Christmas tree and haven’t already done so, now’s the time to take it down.