So it wasn’t quite Twelfth Night, but we decided that it was time to take our Christmas tree down. We’ve been away for most of the festive period, visiting friends and family across the country, so we have barely had any time to look at it this year anyway. But alas, despite not having many evenings to make us feel christmassy it had done us well. The warmth of the lights had helped us through those dark midwinter days that we had been home, and our living room had felt suitably cosy.

The tradition of taking the decorations down on January 5th is apparently linked to it being the twelfth day of Christmas, and the night before Epiphany. Being an athiest, this doesn’t really concern me, but neither myself nor my wife are fans of having the decorations up for too long.

For my wife, it’s just a lot of effort to stick a tree in the corner of the room and hang random things on it. Yes, she’s a bit of a Scrooge. That said, she does enjoy the extra light in the room as she finds the dark winter days more difficult than most. As a teacher, she is in school before the sun rises and home long after it has set. Precious little light for her this time of year, especially when it’s also overcast.

Me, I enjoy the decorations. I also tend to enjoy this time of year. Perhaps it’s the nordic influence in my life, but I don’t suffer so badly in the dark days as my wife does, and nestling up at home in the evenings is something I rather look forward to. I also enjoy the feasting in midwinter, relaxing my diet a little so that I can indulge in some treats with loved ones. I find it difficult to avoid overdoing it at times, and the occasional bloating food bump appears beneath my knitwear more often that I would like. Still, the extra padding keeps me warm, and the warmer I am the more cuddles I get from my ever-frozen partner. This time of year, I’m built for comfort, not speed.

But yes, tonight the decorations are boxed up and back in the loft, where they can stay until next winter gets dark and cold enough to require the light and warmth that they give.