Today is the feast of the Epiphany, a word derived from the Greek form which means to reveal. Epiphany is called this because this is the day that Christ revealed himself to the three Wisemen. These men, the Magi, were the first Gentiles to whom Christ revealed himself, fulfilling Simeon’s prophecy that the Christ would be “a light of revelation to the Gentiles, and a glory to Thy people Israel.”
The Magi’s act of worship acknowledged Christ as the King of all people, races, and nations. To Him they brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh: gold, as a sign of His Kingship; frankincense, as a sign of His Deity; myrrh, as a sign of His death.
The Epiphany, celebrated on January Sixth, marks the closure of the twelve days of Christmas.
In my family, we celebrate the feast of the Epiphany. This started because, about twenty years ago, my grandpa died right before Christmas and my mom flew home to Montana to be with her mom during Christmas. She took the baby of the family with her, who was only three months old at the time. The rest of us kids spent Christmas without Mom and our baby sister, so my dad had the idea to save one gift under the tree to open when Mom came home. Since that time, we rather liked the idea of saving a gift on Christmas day and leaving it under the tree for the twelve days of Christmas, and on the Feast of the Epiphany, when the Magi came and left one more present during the night, we celebrated a Little Christmas. It has since become a tradition. Christmas would not be Christmas if we did not save a gift for the Epiphany.