Every year most people get the beautiful Christmas decorations up and functioning soon after Thanksgiving festivity. For more than a month we get used to live with shimmering colored lights, many different colored decorations, scented candles, crystal items and silver flatware. Everything looks so lucent and elegant. We do need all of this as a way to reward us for a year of hard work and to celebrate in style the passage into a new year with renewed hopes, dreams and goals, but as soon as we are into the new year the trees and decorations go down and the shimmering lights are turned off. I keep all of my Christmas decorations until January 6th to celebrate Epiphany Day. This is a Christian commemoration of the Magi or Wise Men’s visit to baby Jesus, which marks the end of all December festivities. Kids get another present, just like Jesus received incense, myrrh and gold from the Magi, the Christmas tree is taken down on that night with all the beautiful lights and decorations, Christmas markets close, holidays are over and officially the year starts.
Epiphany day was a fun day for kids. On that night of January 6th, my parents organized a tree dismantling party and invited other kids with their parents. Our Christmas tree, as most people did, had chocolate decorations hanging among all the other Christmas decorations.
With a draw, one kid at a time had to find the chocolate decorations as a price, whatever object the kid touched first, that was the item he/she had to take down first. If a chocolate decoration was found first, the game moved over to someone else. Another kid’s name was drawn to give everyone the chance to dismantle the tree and to find the chocolate pieces. Kids fought, laughed or exchanged items, according to each of their tempers or level of vices. This game lasted for hours, before all the decorations were down on the floor, but the tree game was the excuse to get the adults together for another eating feast. My mom and her sisters prepared the last treats of the holidays, generally it was panzerotti (small size stuffed calzone), or home-made pizza, potatoes coquettes, or arancini (rice balls), lot of vegetables, sweets, biscotti, pies and prosecco. This custom is now gone forever as Christmas is more of a consumerism event than a celebration of life, light, spirituality, love and New Year’s good intentions.
Whatever you do to take the Christmas decorations down, it remains the fact that at the start of the year the glitters and glamour are gone and that corner where the tree was is now in the dark. Some people suffer the blues after Christmas is over as they settle into winter, cold and short days. What do you do to avoid that? Redecorate, move furniture around or thinking of Spring already? In some parts of the world Spring may not come until late April, that’s a long time to stay depressed. For me it is easy and simple, as I have adopted a simpler life.
I keep some Christmas decorations around for the next three months. I choose to leave out the not so obvious Christmas decorations, but only one special item for each room, one with an attractive shape or color. First thing to do is to illuminate dark corners with some light decorations, hang something with a visual impact from the ceiling, embellish a doorknob, or a lamp. Glass balls or ornaments generally have interesting shapes and nice colors, I like to keep them in bowls on coffee table and furniture mixed in with other textures. I also like the idea of filling lanterns with colored balls and create an arrangement of three. After the holidays nothing will look Christmassy any more. Take a look at the photos to get an idea and perhaps you have some of your own you want to share with me.
The ornaments will keep my house festive through some cold days while surprising some of my friends. In the meantime, while I am waiting patiently for Spring, I will think of new ways to redecorate and go through the process of cleaning out closets and cabinets. As it happens every January, there will be someone new who wants to take the renovating journey with me as their designer to guide them. It will be a new adventure just right for the new starting year. If you are ready to take that journey with me, do not hesitate to leave your name in the box.
Happy New Year, may all your wishes come true. Ciao,
Copyright © 2011 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved
Valentina Cirasola is an Italian Interior and Fashion Designer, working in the USA and Europe. She blends fashion and interior well in any of her design work. She loves to remodel homes and loves to create the unusual. She is also the author of ©RED-A Voyage Into Colors, the forthcoming book on the subject of colors and the author of two published book on Italian regional cuisine, available on