Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Twelfth Night

There isn't much to take down on Twelfth Night.  We only really decorate one room.  Some years there's ivy and other greenery - holly if I can find it, but this year the birds had had all the berries everywhere of it, and I didn't begrudge them - which is thrown on the fire as it comes down, and makes a crackle and a green smoke smell.

There's the funny red raffia garland I bought in an Oxfam shop years ago; it's breaking up in pieces now but not to worry, the pieces drape around in a versatile way, and there's the little artificial tree which we've had since the first Christmas we were together, which folds up, I'm afraid to say, with the baubles and other accumulated jewjaws still on it and goes into a carrier bag.

Then there are the cardboard cut-out angels I painted sometime since we've been here, I can't remember what the models for them were, something a bit Byzantine I think, and there are the walnut shell three ships, which I think I've photographed before but not this time,

and there are the two peg-doll angels my lovely sister made, because she's like that.  Oh, and that odd little painted bell with a perplexed Father Christmas face on which Tom's daughter K, (Benj's and Emily's mum) sent last year.  She quite often sends some Christmassy thing like that, it's rather nice, more lasting and healthier than chocolate; you get it out the following year and remember. 

And there are the cards.

We light the candles in the wooden tree (which came from B the German doctor another year) once more, put on a cd of carols, drink the last half glass each of the 1997 Loupiac which the village gave to Tom on his last big birthday, and which we started with the pudding on Christmas Day, and pack Christmas away for another year.

Happy Twelfth Night, Fête des Rois, Epiphany.  Onward towards the light now.

Though there's still a bit of Christmas cake left...


Plutarch said...

I sort of recognise that fire, as though I had been looking into the flames.

The word verification is blesi. So Blesi! I like your angels.

Lucy said...

Blesi you too, Plutarch, and did you recognise the squirrel?

Barrett Bonden said...

I like putting up our fairly modest Christmas decorations (the majority acquired via Mrs BB's visits to Christmas markets, mainly in Germany), I enjoy the effect they create and I enjoy bundling them back into their boxes. I used to imagine that the latter was a sign of misanthropy but I now rationalise it by arguing that Christmas needs to be purged, it shouldn't linger pointlessly out of season.

It's clear your decorations are more personal than ours but there is no hint of ambivalence in your account of tidying things away. The wine (Given by the village! The pair of you certainly are figures fixed in a landscape.) and the carols suggest the event is a mini-festival in itself. I can't pretend my hurried activities are so adorned. I Googled Loupiac, thinking it might be a Loire pudding wine but it is of course a Bordeaux. I've never tried it but I have tried one that is geographically related: Cadillac, chosen, needless to say, because of the name.

I like jewjaws, definitely an ecumenical variant and easier to pronounce than geegaws.

20th Century Woman said...

How nice to have a ritual about getting the decorations put away. I always thought of it as a sad chore. Next year I'll think again.

Beth said...

Lucy, likewise, your ritual gives me cheer as I anticipate taking down our decorations this weekend. The leftover fruitcake, and some port or some such thing, shared with J., will help me not feel wistful this year! It's such a long haul here in the north between January and, say, early April, when the first bulbs poke up and the tree buds are visible. So the end of Christmas is extra-difficult, even though I know by mid-January the winter is half over. Cheers and best wishes for the New Year to you; I liked reading your post about the year just past!

Rouchswalwe said...

Fête des Rois! The sound fills the heart.

Isabelle said...

Catching up with reading... I'm amazed that you think you might suffer from timidity and sloth. You seem brave and enegetic to me!

Happy New Year anyway. I love reading about your life - so different from mine and so beautifully described.