Yesterday was Twelfth Night, the last of the traditional Twelve Days of Christmas. It's gone and taken with it the Twelve Drummers Drumming, Eleven Pipers Piping and the rest of that leaping, dancing, twittering lot. If you went in for Twelfth Night festivities — the way my Regency folks probably did — you'd be sleeping off a surfeit the food and drink today
We've come to the feast of Epiphany.
In my house, this is the day we take all the Christmas stuff down.
I had a small, small Christmas tree this year. Green branches in various places, but a small tree. Many beautiful presents from friends and family. Much love. But not so much decoration of the house. (The Kid had all four wisdom teeth out two days before Christmas so I was mostly figuring out how to be festive with no solid foods.)
Today I took the little tree down and de-decorated it. I will go out in the next couple days and plant it in a specially wondrous spot at the edge of the woods. For me, here at the beginning of the year, this is re-creation and new committment and planting a tree goes with that.
In other news, Epiphany is the day the Magi show up, bearing gifts. Melchior, Caspar, and Balthazar bringing gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Somehow I always think of camels on this date. They're bad-tempered, if you were wondering, and they bite.
So … when do you put up your Christmas tree and when do you take it down? And, like, why?