It was an epiphany for me to have Epiphany explained to me by my wife. She is much better than I at keeping the faith in a literal sense. Apparently she was paying attention at all those Christian youth group meetings she attended. Good on her, since she will probably ascend to Heaven much more quickly than her husband. And she can explain the whole "Twelve Days Of Christmas" hoo-hah to her lapsed Methodist husband.
This is why she likes to keep Christmas going on past the first of the new year. The nativity set, lovingly arranged by her in the days leading up to Jesus's birthday, needs to stay out as a reminder that it wasn't until the sixth of January that the wise men showed up to have their eyes filled by the miracle of virgin birth. At this point, I have to say that I am easily convinced of this extra duration, as I have some experience with travel during Christmas. And I can only imagine how much more difficult the timing would be to work out when traveling by camel. As you may recall, Mary and Joseph had some trouble of their own booking a room, and wound up in a manger. "I'm sorry. I understand you three are all kings, but we're all booked up through the weekend. May I suggest the B&B down the road in Jerusalem?"
Meanwhile, some two thousand years later, I am all about taking down and boxing up all those things that might remind me of elves and snowflakes and so on as soon as I wake up on the second of January. The lights outside, the tree inside and every bit of tinsel in between gets put back in a box and we start preparing for Valentine's Day. Which is all well and good, since I do most of the work myself, but it still gives my wife a twinge when all that magic is put away for another year. This may also have something to do with the Pre-Epiphany experience I had a few years back when, as I was climbing into our plum tree to free it of the strings of light that had kept it bound, a hail storm erupted. As I was pelted by ice from the sky, it did not occur to me to stop and leave the lights up for a few more days. I kept at it until I was cold and wet and miserable, but our front yard was free of Christmas.
Ever since then, I have been a much better sport about leaving that nativity set out on the mantle. Until my wife is ready to put it away.