Today is the Feast of the Epiphany, or the Manifestation of Christ to the Nations. That would be the three Magi. I’ve read that it is probably an older holiday than Christmas, which is appealing. Plus, it isn’t commercialized, unless you consider a king cake commercialization. (And since the McKenzies bakery chain in New Orleans is long gone — which makes me quite sad — who sells them?)
Some Christians — at least in English speaking churches — promote Epiphany as a religious alternative to Christmas, which can be continued as a winter family fest without guilt of hypocrisy.
I could write more . . . or point you to the Epiphany posting at the Happy Feminist entitled “The Feast of the Epiphany: La Befana rides tonight.”
Very cool. Very Italian.