On Saturday, January 5th, I attended my first Twelfth Night party. Do you know what the “Twelfth Night” is? Neither did I.
I Googled “Twelfth Night” and learned that it is the celebration of the end of the 12 Days of Christmas and the Epiphany. This holiday also signifies the beginning of the Carnival season that lasts through Mardi Gras.
My invitation read “Festive Attire.” After reading the above, this could only mean Three Magi-themed garb or Mardi Gras beads and a carnival mask, right? I’m lucky the party hostess called me a few days before the party.
Hostess: “…we are so excited you RSVP’d! We’re cooking shrimp etouffee…and you have the address to the house, right?”
Me: “I’m really excited! Except, umm, well I’m a Twelfth-Night-Party-Virgin, so ummm...what does ‘Festive Attire’ mean…exactly?”
Hostess: *immediate laughter….still laughing…she’s got a really great laugh…still laughing*
Hostess: “Oh my… you are funny. Well, no special attire, just be cute.”
Phew. Thank goodness I didn’t show up in Mardi Gras attire.
I walked into the party and realized two things: 1) I was the youngest there by eight years and 2) I was the only one not married. Nevertheless, I got the feeling that this would be a remarkable evening.
The thirteen of us gathered around a large farm-house table in a candle-lit basement. Dinner was consumed with wine, laughter and Cajun dishes. But more importantly, it was filled with a mutual passion for the Lord. I was surrounded by ministers, masters of divinity, stay-at-home-moms, business owners, the lists go on. I soaked up every ounce of the conversation. Every. Ounce.
While this low-key Saturday night may not sound thrilling to you, it was exactly what I needed. This past semester I found myself constantly surrounded by negativity, gossip, and stress–and to a woman who is extremely positive, hates gossip, and does everything I can to be stress-free, it’s been miserable. But Saturday night, these individuals gave me hope and wisdom and the encouragement I needed to start the semester.
From now on, January 5th will begin my New Year and the Twelfth Night will be one of my very favorite holidays.