Epiphany? Not quite.

Today is 6th January. Epiphany. Three Kings Day. Women’s Christmas. There was a time when people celebrated the festival with Twelfth Cake and Epiphany Tart. Today it is simply marked by those of us who have stuck to tradition as a day to take down the decorations. One of my pet peeves is people who put the decorations up 1st December only to take them down New Years Day. I know we’ve all lost the real meaning of Christmas, but given it was based on a pagan festival that lasted the same length of time, even heathens could leave the tree up until today. 

Such a shame really. I wonder if other countries have lost their customs too? No more brave young men jumping into the freezing rivers in Bulgaria, OK that’s a dangerous custom. Do Argentine children still leave grass and water out for the camels along with their shoes in the hope of a gift? Do people still make King Cakes with a bean or porcelain figure hidden in it? 

So today the decorations come down leaving the house feeling bare. Tomorrow my youngest turns 18. I will no longer be responsible for anyone but myself. For 25 years I have been the one to blame for the health (the eczema was caused by the washing powder I bought), behaviour (“people like you shouldn’t be allowed to have kids” when an extremely naughty toddler refused to walk and sat on the floor, so I went on without him), eating habits (“you should have made her eat something other than chips and pizza, in my day we ate what was put in front of us or went hungry”), homework (“you really should make sure he/she does the work set”), exam results (obviously I didn’t nag them enough to do revision), you name it I get blamed for it, for one child or another or even all! I have been blamed by everyone from health visitors,doctors and teachers to my own kids and family at various points in their lives, funnily enough no one ever seemed to blame their absent father who took off 13 years ago. 

That’s more than half my life so far! 25 years of bearing the burden of having to kiss it better and solve all the problems children tend to have. So how am I going to celebrate this new found freedom? I really don’t know. 

Happy Birthday littlest one!