12th Night. Decorations go away and Christmas is over. The first of it's kind I believe and the first over a very sad watershed.
When I was a pup I remember Christmas. I was the fourth of five lads and when it came to judging the mood of my parents they always deferred to me. Why? I don't know. My memories of Christmas morning commenced with being asked "Do you reckon we can go down now?". It was exciting going down to find a pile of presents. Well a pillowcase stuffed generally. Five pillowcases around the the living room. We would open presents and there would be calls of "Look!" and we would. The room would be a mess and the toys would be played with and chocolate eaten. Mince pies for breakfast and excitement all day - until bedtime. At bedtime the magic collapsed and disappointment leapt in as you realised - That was it! Christmas DONE!
I have seen that disappointment crash in at each Christmas for my daughters until they reach a certain point. I suppose it's called Maturity. Our eldest had long past this as she sat her A levels and her sister was born and so for me to see the pre Christmas excitement/disappointment cycle start again was truly magic.
This year was different. Throughout the run up our youngest kept telling us that she was the only one of her group who was not excited about Christmas. I felt disappointed but we did everything we could. Come Christmas eve the two were together again for the reading of "The Night Before Christmas" and I hope that will continue. But as her sister went home again our youngest retired for the night asking what time she could get up. Come Christmas day we heard "How did you know I wanted this?" on more than one occasion but come bedtime she was not suffering the depression that she had previously and so I didn't go and sit on her bed and try to console her as in previous years.
But now we won't have another child of our own and so the Christmas excitement/disappointment magic is gone from our Christmases and while there may be grandchildren they won't carry the same involvement.
It's a sad time this year but a happy time as I am assured that it was still one very good Christmas.,