Monday, 7 January 2013


I say the magic word as I get up from the computer and Bertie's instantly awake, yawning, stretching and  arching his back, ready for his next adventure.

He and Vita dash ahead of me as I make my way up the drive to the house to pack away the Christmas decorations.

They were all down by yesterday - twelfth night - just to make sure of avoiding whatever ill luck is supposed to befall if you don't, but I didn't have time to put them back in their boxes, so that's today's task.

Mind you, the French don't seem to have the same twelfth night thing. My French teacher keeps her crib on display in the lounge grate until St Valentine's day.  And some houses never take down their weather-beaten Father Christmas climbing the ladder while hanging rather mournfully from the gutter. One of our local communes keeps its three street decorations in place too - a star, a bell and something else, I can't remember what. Saves paying for a man and a van to put it up again next Christmas.

There's a mix of emotions with the Christmas decoration packing away task. Regret that this season and this last year have just slipped through my fingers (again). But then also a tinge of relief: "Thank goodness that's over and we can tidy it away" (I can hear my grandmother's brisk voice here). And a touch of excitement.  Start of a New Year. Like Bertie, time to stretch, arch our backs and say: "Here's to our next adventure".


  1. January 6th was my father's birthday and it was a joke between my parents that my mother would have the decorations down as a birthday present for him...a great disapprover of Christmas excess.2 porthyle

  2. Whereas January 6th is my sister's birthday (and now also my grandson's) and this gave us a great excuse for leaving the decorations up a little longer, as it would have been so mean to take them down the day before. :-) Even now I don't take them down until at least the 7th.

    Historically the Church has seen the whole period from Christmas Eve until Candlemas on February as the Christmas season, so like your French neighbours I don't feel any pressure....

  3. Hello Fly and Perpetua, how interesting to see the differences in your families :) And I like the Christmas to Candlemass, Perpetua.
    Though there's a part of me that tends towards the "let's get them down", not least because I think the greenery begins to look a bit sad by now. Anyway, all now packed except for the candles - I need to buy another box. :)

  4. Our big decision is whether to dust the kit off and wrap the wires properly as they are packed away or to do them as they come out in very early December.
    They all go back in the same big boxes that are clearly labled with marker pen but rarely is that accurate.
    There is also a sort of tradition that one (or two) bits get left behind and have to spend the year in a drawer.

  5. Hello Lesley - yes I know the one about the decoration that hides until everything is away in the attic! Then I'm not quite sure where to put it. I'm pretty certain there's a red bow hiding in a drawer somewhere left over from last year! :)