Twelve days to Christmas (eve!)

It’s twelve days to Christmas Eve and I’m beginning to feel in a Christmas mood. I guess this is perhaps because at the weekend the family Christmas party took place and thank goodness, Father Christmas found time in  his busy schedule to visit! All the little children who had been good received a present – the big people will have to wait until Christmas morning! It’s a wonderful family tradition which has continued since I was about four years old and my cousin three; years past and my sister was born, my cousins brothers and sister – and then after many more years we all married and had kids of our own, and would you believe it, now some of my cousins are grandparents!

Like most people I’ve been buying gifts, writing cards, thinking about our Christmas meal on the day itself, and this evening it is the pre-Christmas get-together for the writing group. I actually have already been to two “do’s”, with my husband’s music groups – and another tomorrow, but tonight I’m with my chums. I need to write cards, I need to remember to bring a couple of small offerings for the gathering, and I need to keep an eye on the clock as time is very good at eluding me.

Apparently the first of the twelve days of Christmas is the 25th of December, Christmas Day itself, which everyone knows is heralded by their true love giving them a partridge in a pear tree. I had better start thinking about where I might get a partridge, and remember to purchase a pear tree for my beloved.

In Iceland the thirteen days leading up to Christmas see the arrival of the mischievous and naughty Yule Lads – apparently these days they are quite benign. Traditionally they are actually quite naughty, for example, yesterday Stekkjarstaur was supposed to be out and about, stealing sheep! Thankfully he’s not very good at it as he has very stiff wooden legs. Today, be on the watch for Giljagaur, he’s quite a shorty but if you find any of your saucepans or frying pans missing, he’s probably had them away to lick all the bits of food stuck to them!

Today is also the special day of various saints, including St Lucy or St Lucia. It is celebrated particularly in Scandinavia, as those of us who watch Scandi films and TV series know. This is what Wikipedia tells us about her:

Saint Lucy’s Day, also called the Feast of Saint Lucy, is a Christian feast day observed on 13 December. The observance commemorates Lucia of Syracuse, an early-fourth-century virgin martyr under the Diocletian Persecution, who according to legend brought food and aid to Christians hiding in the Roman catacombs, wearing a candle lit wreath on her head to light her way and leave her hands free to carry as much food as possible. Her feast day, which coincided with the shortest day of the year prior to calendar reforms, is widely celebrated as a festival of light. Falling within the Advent season, Saint Lucy’s Day is viewed as a precursor of Christmastide, pointing to the arrival of the Light of Christ in the calendar on Christmas Day.

I’d better think about getting ready to go out, time flies when one is writing!

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