January Epiphanies cont.
Many of us don’t brave the cold in January and February to see the constellations.
In January, many people throughout the world celebrate the Visitation of the Magi, who followed a bright star to find the Christ Child. This extends the Christmas Season celebration.
Perhaps we could be more mindful of our surroundings, our place in the universe, and other January Epiphanies if we bundled up at least once during January or February, grabbed a blanket and some hot chocolate, coffee, or Irish coffee, and went out for 10-15 minutes of thoughtful star gazing on a clear night.
That is my challenge to you. But, why not make it a group venture, family activity, or a party? Maybe exchange home made presents or goodies, inexpensive but thoughtful gifts, or white elephant surprises, to Magi it up a bit. If you’d like to include related Scripture readings for your time, try Isaiah 60:3 and Matthew 2:1-12.
Below is a fantastic recipe for slow cooker hot chocolate, plus an image of a star map for January and February–for the Northern Hemisphere, (it’s most accurate during 9-10p.m. Eastern Standard Time.) For Southern Hemisphere, click here. Face in the proper direction, and find the star patterns from the map. Show or teach them to your friends, family, children, or youth group.
And please remember: If it’s cold, dress in layers, a hat, gloves, and warm coat.
Please ~ Let me know how it goes, okay?
Hot Chocolate Ingredients
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 6 cups milk, (or 4 cups milk and 2 cups half and half)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 (12 ounce) package milk chocolate chips
- Whipped cream
- (other options) Cinnamon, Coconut flakes, Sprinkles, marshmallows, marshmallow fluff, Candy canes
- Stir together the whipping cream, milk, vanilla, and chocolate chips in a slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on low for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally, until mixture is hot and chocolate chips are melted. Stir again before serving. Garnish with whipped cream or other garnish, as desired.
If you try this recipe, use this map, or have a good time star gazing soon, I’d LOVE to hear about it. Who says the holidays are over?
(Click here for another January Northern Hemisphere sky map resource)
Star Map for Northern Hemisphere (Jan & Feb)