As I raised my blinds the other morning I noticed immediately that the neighbours opposite had removed their Christmas decorations as soon as New Year was done and dusted. I had half suspected they would. I know it sort of makes sense, what with people going back to work.
But I do feel harassed into doing the same, and I don’t WANT TO! (Sorry about the shouting.) I want to keep my stuff up until January 13th, as I was brought up to do. But, not wanting to be too difficult, I’m willing to adapt and clear the decorations sooner.
But I do feel this coming weekend is enough. I want to feel that Twelfth Night (and the subsequent thirteenth day) is permitted to exist. We’re not Russians, I know, but I’ve been cheated out of my third period of celebrating. Christmas is shorter here. Then there is New Year. After which there ought to be a Twelfth Night (5th January), but isn’t.
The good thing about going back to work after New Year’s Day was always that soon you’d be off again. And we could never have celebrated Favourite Aunt’s birthday so thoroughly without her day being a half day, and everyone having time for carting flowers around town and eating too much cake and chocolates, again.
When I emigrated I was aware of the different circumstances, but I was so sure I could incorporate that festive 5th of January into my new life. I just knew I was right. It took only one Christmas to see I was deluded, and perhaps another to give up. But after all these years it still feels as if something’s missing.