08 January, 2006

Twelfth-ish Night

Custom dictates all traces of Christmas should have been banished from view on Friday, but when I was out today there were still a couple of houses sporting festive trimmings.

Typically, they were both from the National Grid-draining school of seasonal decoration: great hectares of illuminations ostentatiously shining out in a massive 3000-watt two fingered salute to the rest of the world. I hope it brings them bad luck for the ensuing 11 and a half months (more like nine, to be honest) until they make their official reappearance. Assuming they'll actually take them all down in the first place.

I hate having to tidy Christmas away. It's the novelty of being able to keep cards out on display, even after you've gone back to work and the holiday is over, which appeals. In this sense I'm glad I no longer get to witness the stripping of my mum and dad's house - the culling of the tree, the banishing of the tinsel and baubles, the jettisoning of all the other trinkets and ornaments. The ruthlessness they went about it was like some Oliver Cromwell-esque purging of non-pagan paraphenalia. It also meant it would shortly be time to go back to school. Stuart notes how this one particular act of ostensibly domestic convenience continues to embody all sorts of emotions, usually negative ones.

My dictionary considers Twelfth Night to be on January 5th, as technically that is a dozen nights forward from Christmas night. But then it also talks about Twelfth Day, something I'd never heard of before, which is January 6th and whose evening can also be considered Twelfth Night.

As long as it's the Twelfth of something, it seems anything goes. And for those two houses that means, ahem, the Twelfth of Never.


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