On the Twelfth Day of Christmas

The twelfth day of Christmas is the feast of the Epiphany in the Catholic Church. And I had one.

I finally. Got. Wi-fi.


Yes, that’s right. Since I moved into this place, 16 months ago, I have been chained to the modem via etherlink connection. The modem is in the only possible place it can be – on the floor next to the TV/cable box in my living room. Which meant I had to be on the floor to use the computer.


For the longest time, it was because they were supposed to set up wi-fi when they installed my cable, but they didn’t, and I just never called them to come back and do it because who wants to call the cable company and invite them over again? And then, one of my coworkers looked at me like I had three heads and said, “Just go buy a router, for crying out loud!”

Oh. I can do that?

We are not terribly technologically savvy here at thesinglecell. I’m not an idiot or anything – I just thought the cable company had to provide the wi-fi service and if I hooked up something else they’d know and accuse me of breach of contract or something. I totally made that whole thing up in my head, though. Turns out.

So yesterday, I got a router. It wasn’t hard. I told an associate at the store what I wanted, she asked if I knew what kind I wanted, I said no, she said she’d send someone right over, I stood in the aisle for five minutes looking at boxes, nobody came, I picked one that looked reasonable (Belkin 300 N with dual something), paid for it and left. The hardest thing about installing it was finding a place to plug it in. And now, I’m on my couch, under a blanket, with the laptop where it was made to be… and I’m online.

It’s like that moment in The Wizard of Oz when everything goes from black and white to color.

Obviously, my regular readers have stuck with me through twelve days of the same title for my posts, except for one word that changed. I always celebrate the twelve days of Christmas. I don’t do pear trees or gold rings (note to self: find someone to supply gold rings for future Christmases) or drummers drumming, since they’d just make me nuts. But all my decorations stay up until the Epiphany, the celebration of the occasion when the three kings arrived at the stable to find the baby Jesus.

The little drummer boy may have been with them. I’m not sure.

Rembrandt's "Adoration of the Magi"

Melchior, Balthazar and Gaspar brought the infant expensive gifts often given to kings, gifts that may have foreshadowed the path Jesus’ life and death would take: gold, because He was the newborn king; frankincense, which symbolized deity; and myrrh, an embalming oil associated with death. These days, two of those gifts are relatively obscure, and gold is no longer a gift fit only for kings. Most of the meaning has washed away.

It’s easy for us to forget the meaning of the little gifts we get on a daily basis. We are not royalty, not deities. But this year, for the twelve days of Christmas, I wanted to be more mindful of those gifts I receive every day, and how valuable they are.

The first day: Family.

The second day: Love.

The third day: Self-awareness.

The fourth day: Friendship.

The fifth day: Health.

The sixth day: Wisdom (and humor).

The seventh day: Contentedness.

The eighth day: Music.

The ninth day: Fruits of labor.

The tenth day: Freedom.

The eleventh day: Little pleasures.

The twelfth day: Connection.

By no means are these the only gifts I receive daily. There are so many more. Writing about these made me grateful for them, mindful of them. I hope I can continue that throughout the year.

Today, the decorations come down and get put away, and I yank a big, beautiful tree through a doorway nowhere near wide enough for it to pass through. After a considerable amount of vacuuming, my home goes back to its 11-month state, feeling bare and stark for a few days at first. I’ll consider keeping the Dickens Village houses out, at least, with their warm glow and old-world charm. And then I’ll decide, like I always do, that I might as well pack them away now so I don’t have to rejigger all the boxes in storage again when I eventually take them down.

There is no thirteenth day of Christmas.

But I still hope to receive a gift.


19 thoughts on “On the Twelfth Day of Christmas

  1. I got an iPad from my son for Christmas (he has officially been absolved of all past sins for this gift. Apparently I can be bought.). After a day of bliss, the wi-fi stopped working. It was like the world came to a stop. Long story short, it was the router and I bought a new one. Routers truly do keep the world spinning on it’s axis. Welcome to the 21st century, singlecell!

  2. What a lovely, sweet post. I love it. Interestingly, you seem to have purchased exactly the same router I did, except I had all sorts of grief trying to stay connected, leading to my rant on Belkin customer service, Peggy and Payton V. So you may be more technologically savvy than you think. And I was wondering about the date of The Epiphany … it’s been a long time.

    • Thank you. I thought you had said you bought a Belkin… I’ve only been up and running for 19 hours so we’ll see what the future holds. I know that a lot of tech people don’t recommend the Netgear brand. There were only two other options: Belkin and one that was ridiculously expensive and did things I didn’t need. Hope I don’t have to talk to Peggy!

  3. I think “Oh. I can do that?” every. single. day. Did you know there are phones with screens you touch with your fingers? And a box that records television shows? And GPS things for your car? I’m never ahead of the game!

    • Tori, isn’t it sad? Aren’t we supposed to be the generation that uses all that stuff? (I’m 34.) I do have a touchscreen phone, but it is of average intelligence – not a smartphone, because I’m an old lady about getting new things when the old things work perfectly fine, thank you. And I don’t have a DVR. That’s another thing the cable company was supposed to hook up, but didn’t. I do, however, have a GPS. And a VCR. Still.

  4. My Dad has always said that Christmas STARTS on Christmas Day and ends on Epiphany. It has always ticked him off that you can’t find Christmas music anywhere on the radio after midnight that day, just when he’s settling in to enjoy the season.

    This was a lovely series of posts. I’m sure if they knew about it, the wise guys would have brought Wifi to the baby Jesus.

    • That would have been a lovely gift. “Too bad there’s no room at the inn. Good thing we brought you this.” Your dad is right about Christmas; hope he finds more music next year!

  5. Excellent series, SC. Thanks for sharing. On the thirteenth day, you should give yourself a break.

    I’m curious about one thing — because you planned to do a “12 days” series, how many topics did you plan in advance? A couple of the entries were about serendipitous events, but did you intend to write about something under the same theme?

    Again, well-done!

    • I had the idea to do the twelve days, but that was all I had, and that didn’t come to me until I was driving home from my parents’ house on Christmas night. The rest was about looking for and being aware of the gifts as they came to me. Some days I had to look harder than others. I’m so glad you liked the series. And yes… I’m taking a break. (And giving you one!)

  6. Everytime you have previously written a blog, you have been sitting on your floor? *blank stare*

    Sheesh, if I had to do that to access my online playground, I’d probably trade it in for cross stitching.

    • Well, I did cheat. I wrote some at work. And I could write some others on the laptop and transfer them to WP to publish once I got on the floor. But any time I spent actually connected to the internets, yes. I was on the floor. I’m going to make a chiropractor very rich.

  7. Oh.. and congratulations…. I do have have Wifi, however, my desktop is ethernet ‘ed’ – but it is on a desk.. *chuckles*..

    It CAN do wireless, yet I mentally just have issues comprehending it can function without some sort of physical attachment…. Oddly enough every other ipad, iphone, Wii contraption in the house seems to function on wifi perfectly… *another blank stare*

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