Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Happy Feast of the Epiphany!

I promised some updates on Christmas, and here I am just slipping under the gate right at the end!

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.

I wanted a little more in the way of Epiphany decorations, so I recycled one of the Dollar Ttore cardstock stars from the kids' birthday party to serve as "the star."  I hung it from the chandelier over our Christ child statue on the dining room table.  (I almost said I "hung it over our centerpiece", but I realized it would be rather irreverent to refer to it that way!)


 Here are a few snapshots of our Christmas...

baby elf

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!


  1. Well, if you're slipping right under the gate, I'm going to be pretty late with mine as I still have one more Christmas/traveling post!

    I agree about it being nice to get rid of the busyness of Christmas decorations. Our tree will come down on Thursday, as tree pick-up is Friday here. But our nativities will stay up for a few more weeks! And you have just reminded me to get the wise men in! lol

    Your house was so beautiful for Christmas!

  2. I adore your house, and thank you for sharing the pictures with Christmas decorations. It is my hope that we can find a foursquare or craftsman style home when I move next-windows like those would be a plus.

    Kudos on the repurposing of the star to become the Star of Bethlehem!

  3. lovely! We leave our nativity out too...Clan Donaldson blog just wrote about what a huge change repainting your ceilings makes!

  4. I continue to be astounded by how many house projects you guys tackle with small children underfoot!