Sunday, January 07, 2007

Down with Decorations

6th of January – Epiphany – the day the Three Kings finally made it to Bethlehem and the day all the Christmas decorations MUST come down. Every pine needle, every scrap of tinsel, every holly berry must be expurgated from the house before the day is out or else dire, but unspecified, consequences could befall you...at least so the ancient superstition goes.

I think it was invented by some Scrooge Bah Humbug type, who would have really rather chucked the tree out on Boxing Day. Unfortunately for him (and it was definitely a him) the church and its Twelve days of Christmas upheld the rest of the family clamouring to keep on celebrating and singing Christmas Carols for a further eleven blooming days.... but the twelfth day was his.

OUT with the Christmas cards that make it so hard to dust the mantle piece (and give the wife every excuse not to bother for a whole month), out with the annoyingly huge tree obscuring the living room, out with the oh so jolly festoons, swags, stars and greenery decking picture frames, window sills and every darn surface in the house..out with it all OR ELSE. Plus you better dust and sweep every inch of the house cos those pine needles get everywhere and one speck of glitter undetected in a corner could jinx the whole of the rest of the year.

This superstition still manages to linger in my head, however much I know it is rubbish. I still feel the tree must be outside, the floor swept of needles, the decorations packed away before the clock strikes twelve. A fit of New Year spring cleaning threatens to engulf me in its tentacles and I am tempted to consign all the unmatched plastic miscellany that strews the floor straight to the bin, vital part of some Christmas present or no.

The sitting room looks dull divested of its Christmas baubles. No green photosynthesising presence bringing the outdoors in. I think I need to get a huge wild vase of flowers to riot and shed leaves and blooms in the fireplace..I miss that tree.

4 comments:

  1. The superstition holds so in Germany. Today is the day. We have de-decorated, but the tree needs to move outside today for fear of that unspecified bad luck.

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  2. Oh, dear. I hope it doesn't count in the tropics. And I don't think it does, because I don't think I've ever taken down a tree by the sixth, and yet I've had plenty of good years.

    I'd rather not say how long I've ever left a tree up...suffice to say, I was way too embarrassed to put it out at the curb, and in fact I don't recall what ended up happening to it. I suspect we must have dismembered it in the privacy of the back patio before secreting it away someplace.

    But that won't happen this year's tree. It may not have been swept away efficiently on the sixth, but I'm thinking tomorrow is probably the day.

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  3. Tomorrow will be the day, when the girls go back to school. The living room is sure to look naked.

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  4. Ours came down the day after. It always feels sad to say goodby, to strip the tree, to seal the boxes...
    Wishing you a New year of Joy!!

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