I always going into a right old funk this time of year. Of the Eeyore rather than the Jamiroquai variety. Is there anything more miserable than the twinkling lights of everyone else’s Christmas decorations once the last streamer has unfurled on New Year’s Eve?
The kind of wild & crazy party we hold at Hobbis Towers
Taking all your Christmas decorations down isn’t exactly fun, is it? We’re not supposed to take them down until Twelfth Night (6th January) but I have seen many Facebook statuses along the “couldn’t stand it any more so I’ve taken them all down” variety. The thought of having nothing to look forward to until the daffodils appear and Wales goes slightly mad over St. David’s Day and the Six Nations Rugby tournament hits its stride really depresses me.
So I thought I’d see if I could compile a list of events to commemorate before then. Obviously there’s Burns Night on 25th January. You don’t have to be Scottish to celebrate that do you? Haggis, Neeps and Tatties, Shortbread and Whisky – easy. Except I don’t know anyone who can play the bagpipes.
Or what about St. Dwynwen’s Day, also the 25th January. Dwynwen is the Welsh version of St. Valentine – patron saint of lovers and also of sick animals. Dwynwen fell in love with someone entirely unsuitable and after drinking a potion given to her by an angel was forced to renounce men and retreated to Llanddwyn Island off the west of coast of Anglesey to die an unmarried hermit in AD 460. These days she might have been helped to get over it by internet dating and ITV’s “Take Me Out”. Can’t imagine Paddy shouting “Let the Saints see The Sinners”, can you?
Or on February 3rd, you can celebrate the Feast Day of Blaise – Patron Saint of Throat Ailments, Veterinarians and Wild Animals. Blaise was a bishop who convinced a wolf to return a woman’s stolen pig whilst on the way to his trial for being caught praying. Sentenced to death by starvation, the pig’s owner sneaked in food to his cell and this so incensed the Governor that he had him beheaded in AD 316.
I hope at this point your mind is thronging with canapé suggestions and nattily named cocktails. Because whilst you’re getting all Martha Stewart, there’s also the feast day of Apollonia, Patron Saint of Dentists on 9th February. Apollonia was set upon by a mob who took out all her teeth and offered to spare her life if she would renounce her faith. I think you can guess the end of the story but Apollonia is often depicted wearing a necklace of her own teeth.
You know, I’m beginning to realise why we don’t actually celebrate too many saints’ days……. These are more days for quiet reflection and thought – something that is also missing from many of our lives.
Perhaps we should just invent some of our own celebrations – “First Sighting Of A Snowdrop”? I would suggest first sighting of a Cadbury’s Cream Egg but in Cadbury World Christmas segues neatly into Easter into what can only be described as four straight months of chocolate.
Actually, do we really need an excuse to celebrate? Good friends, good food, good wine – a little candlelight – what could be nicer to get through the dark days before Spring has sprung. Christmas makes us make the effort; many of us are less proactive through the rest of the year. What better New Year’s resolution could there be than to celebrate life and take every opportunity to enjoy yourself?
If you can play the bagpipes though and you live near Cardiff, though, just give me a shout!