6th January… In Ireland, this is the day that the Christmas decorations traditionally come down – never a cause for celebration, in my book – as kids we knew in our hearts that Christmas was indeed gone for another year, and that the new school term was only round the corner..
My Mother called this day ‘ Little Christmas’, and we always had an especially nice dinner and one of the half-dozen Christmas puddings that she made each year – served with caster sugar and whipped cream, since you’re asking – none of that oul Brandy Butter or Custard nonsense..
It’s also the Feast of the Epiphany – the day the Three Wise men arrived at Bethlehem.
Another name for this day is Nollaig na mBan, or ‘The Womens’ Christmas’ – Apparently, this was the day when women did no work at home, and went out to socialise with their mothers, sisters, aunts and friends. Sounds like a great idea, and certainly it’s still very popular in various parts of Ireland. But not this year, right?
Anyway, enough history – today I hit the ground running – by early lunchtime, I’ll have brought all the boxes back in from the garage and – hopefully – have started to pulling apart my lovingly constructed Christmas House. Even though it was only us who saw it this year!
However, this is not a tale of sparkly things, ripped from their rightful place and banished to the black hole that is my garage (and my garage is, seriously, a black hole), but rather of most of it being banished etc., but some of it being reprieved – those fake candles, and the fairy lights that switch themselves on for 6 hours every evening, and turn themselves off for the rest of the time – I just couldn’t let them go into that darkness..
So this evening I have a couple of candles flickering gently in carefully chosen spots – the trick is to put them in places where they don’t look fake – like lanterns and jars, but you knew that already didn’t you?
My gesture to the Hygge trend -and it was a minimal gesture, consisting mostly of a Swedish-themed throw over the back of the sofa – turned out to be much appreciated by the cats, so the cosy fleecy throws have remained, with a promise to myself that they (and the poor old cats) will be properly evicted when Spring finally arrives.
So, most of my seasonal treasures are enjoying their well-earned slumbers, but a little bit of Christmas remains – with hopes of a more ‘usual’ Christmas time next year..
The evenings are getting brighter by the day – only by a minute or so – it’s still time for cosy food, but Spring is on its way!
Happy 6th January!