Since getting an artificial tree, my mother rarely takes hers down until after her birthday, Jan. 6th, which also happens to be Ukrainian Christmas Eve. She's not Ukrainian, but my dad is, and when my grandparents were alive, we often used to celebrate with them at their farm, a few miles from the Manitoba/Minnesota/North Dakota border (on the Canadian side). My dad had five siblings and three half-siblings, and most years, all or most of them, plus many of their kids (and, eventually, some grandkids) would cram into the little farmhouse. It wasn't always an entirely traditional Ukrainian meal, but there were always perogies, holubtsi (cabbage rolls) and kielbasa (sausage)(none of which I appreciated until I became an adult -- my loss!!). One of my aunts made elaborate kolach (braided loaves of bread) and another made kutya (wheat kernels in a sweet sauce, served cold). Kids sitting cross-legged on the floor in front of the TV, plates balanced precariously on knees. After eating, we would play hide and seeks in the basement or go out for snowmobile rides in the nearby fields while the women did the dishes and the men played cards upstairs. Those were the days...
My mother used to tell us that, being part-Swedish (on her mother's side), we're "allowed" to keep the tree up until Jan. 13th (which would be after MY birthday). Apparently the Swedes traditionally celebrate St. Knut's Day, or "Little Christmas," which is when the tree comes down and any leftover goodies get eaten up.
I have a friend who builds up to Christmas all year long... she'll start reminding us on Jan. 24th that it's only 11 months till Christmas Eve! and continue with monthly, then weekly, then daily countdown reminders. The thing I find hilarious is that her tree and all the decorations always come down on Boxing Day, the day immediately after Christmas! -- after all that buildup!!
|Our tree on Ukrainian Christmas Eve. |
(Somehow, having it up then seemed
entirely appropriate this year.)
Till next year, old friend...!
When do you usually take down your tree &/or other holiday decorations?
(This is my first #MM post this year -- I missed several lately, so it's good to be back!)
You can find more of this week's #MicroblogMondays posts here.