Ah, well. It's because Christmas was such a busy, yet pleasant season for us this year. Everything went smoothly, and we miraculously managed to avoid any major (lack-of-sleep+too-much-sugar-inflicted) meltdowns from the kids this year. We even went to the Christmas midnight Mass for the first time ever. With the kids!
A question I have yet to find a satisfying answer to: Is this the twelfth day of Christmas, or was that yesterday? I've been reading very conflicting things about this. Do you start counting on Christmas day, or the day after? Even Wikipedia admits that there is a controversy over which night is "Twelfth Night". Most of my trusty sources seem to think Epiphany Eve is the proper Twelfth night, though, so that is likely what I'll go with.
We're having a very small Epiphany party tonight. A priest friend invited himself over to do the Epiphany blessing on our house (!), and we said, "actually, we're still waiting for someone to come give our house the regular house blessing. Can you do BOTH blessings for us?" And he said yes, of course. So we decided to invite over a few friends, serve up some dessert, break out a Catholic trivia game, and make a night of it!
Epiphany celebrates - among other things - the visit of the magi to Christ. We finally moved our three wise men from their lookout on top of the china cabinet to join the other figures in our nativity set...on top of the television cabinet. It's always disappointing to me that they only get to be there for one day before I pack the whole thing away. So last year, I kept just the nativity set out until Candlemas, which I might do again.
|a very well-dressed Santa we ran into downtown|
|Yes, that's right! It only took me TWO YEARS to finish these babies. And with that, I think I'm ready to retire from knitting. With the exception of one baby blanket for each of my future children, but only because I set the precedent with the first ones.|
This was our first Christmas in the new house, and I must say - I think the house really took well to Christmas decorations. All the beautiful woodwork and molding provided many little ledges and nooks on which to place pretty things.
Unfortunately, most of my photos were not able to do it justice. I still haven't found a way to take decent indoor shots with my mediocre camera(s) and the low amount of light in our house (a problem we are currently working to address!). Almost all of them turn out blurry. So here's the few that didn't.
Tomorrow I will begin taking down the decorations. Part of me is looking forward to it, because it will remove a lot of visual busyness in one fell swoop. The house is going to automatically feel cleaner and more spacious.
But at the same time....it will no longer be so festive and cozy. Just having the decorations up inspired us to light a fire in the fireplace almost every night. But our wood supply is now dwindling, and I know we'll want to get more conservative with our fires for the rest of the year. I am not looking forward to these cold, wet, and dreary days to come. January through April is the most depressing and slow-moving time of year.
So I'm determined to keep myself busy through the late-winter doldrums, by taking on a lot of painting projects around the house. That will provide me with activity as well as some spirit-brightening changes around here - as well as, I hope, adding some literal brightness. We're going with lighter, brighter colors in a lot of the rooms to counteract the dark wood everywhere. We recently painted the dining room ceiling from light green to white, and the difference was astounding. It immediately cheered me up every time I walked in there for days.
Well, Happy Twelfth Day of Christmas OR day-after-the-twelfth-day-of-Christmas, as the case may be! Happy and joyous Epiphany to all!