It was a green Christmas here, and I'm not kidding. I harvested fresh thyme, rosemary, and sage from my garden for cooking. Some friends dug up carrots. This is unheard of in this climate even in snowless years.
Then, this morning we woke to a perfect holiday card scene.
Some might be annoyed at this timing, but I'm reminded of Boxing Days when I was young. Children would inquire anxiously, "It's still Christmas, isn't it?" And the elders would reply, "Yes, it's Christmas for twelve days. It's only just begun."
We knew there would be no more gifts, except for the odd stray that hadn't been delivered in time for the 25th. But the beautiful tree would remain, the candy dishes would be refilled as they emptied, and we would be allowed to sit in the front room which was not used at any other time of the year. We had our new toys to amuse us, and we would exchange visits with friends and relatives we hadn't seen for a while.
The fever of anticipation had peaked and started to drop, but there were still things to look forward to, so the descent was gentle and gradual.
By the twelfth day, known to us as "Old Christmas Day", we would be back in school. The bone-dry tree would be broken up and the branches laid on the flower beds to protect them from the January frost. The boxes of chocolates were gone, the bucket of hard candy was empty. By that time we had sucked all the juice out of Christmas and were ready to turn our attention elsewhere. Even so, there was a tiny crumb of cheer on that day, knowing it was still officially Christmas for 24 hours.