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25 Days of Christmas: We wish you a Merry Christmas

TIM ISBELL/SUN HERALD 
 The sky turns red just prior to sun rise at Jones Park in Gulfport, and along with the green wreath provides beautiful Christmas color in South Mississippi.
TIM ISBELL/SUN HERALD The sky turns red just prior to sun rise at Jones Park in Gulfport, and along with the green wreath provides beautiful Christmas color in South Mississippi. SUN HERALD

Merry Christmas, South Mississippi.

The 24 days of preparations all come down to this day.

And even after all the baking and wrapping and planning, one of the kids is sick or the turkey is still frozen. The "perfect" Christmas isn't the most memorable.

Postings on social media remind us not everyone looks forward to Christmas. Some people can't afford gifts, have no family to celebrate with and are suffering with health issues. Others are missing family members who are no longer here to celebrate the holiday.

The Grinch cartoon character was amazed that, even after he made off with all the gifts, decorations and food, Christmas came to Whoville anyway.

"It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags," the Christmas classic goes, before he, the Grinch, carved the roast beast.

Kids probably won't remember next year what gifts they got for Christmas this year, but they will remember the ornaments, the music and the food that are constants every Christmas.

It doesn't matter that South Mississippi will probably have record high temperatures this year instead of a white Christmas.

Or that some South Mississippians celebrate Hanukkah, some Christmas and some Kwanza.

Sun Herald reader Judi David said although we celebrated the 25 Days of Christmas this year, Christianity's traditional 12 Days of Christmas start Dec. 25. The 12 days last through the Epiphany on Jan. 6, when the three kings arrived in Bethlehem with gifts for baby Jesus.

"Twelfth night was the date for traditional masked balls, à la Shakespeare, and were the precursors to our Carnival season, hence the baby in the 'king' cake," she said.

Mardi Gras comes very early this year, with Fat Tuesday on Feb. 9. That doesn't mean the Christmas season ends Dec. 25.

"I challenge you to remember the real 12 days, to do something special for each of them, to leave your Christmas tree up, and to truly carry Christmas into the new year," David said.

And if that is too much, this one day let's set aside the controversy over whether a Nativity scene should be allowed at the courthouse or who will be elected president almost a year away.

It's Christmas.

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