Today, as you must know, was Epiphany. And as we had misplaced Old Befana on Italy day before Christmas (confession- I think I claimed to have read it on the right day, but I wrote the posts as I planned the lessons and neglected to take that part out when we couldn't find the book), and it was already way overdue, I figured today was the perfect day to pull it out and read it. If you are not familiar with Old Befana and her story, she flies around on January 6th each year bringing toys to little children as she searches for the Christ Child whom the wise men were seeking. I also decided to make my children watch Amahl and the Night Visitors. If you are not familiar with that, it is an opera about the wise men stopping one night at the home of a poor, young crippled boy and his mother. I had a particularly rigid music teacher in elementary school who made us watch it every year. I don't think I liked anything but the "this is my box" song when I was a kid. But somehow I retained a lot of it, and I had an urge to see it again. Amabel seemed to really enjoy it, and August and Elspeth watched good chunks of it interestedly. We ended up watching two different versions of it because the first one we tried, while less formal and more in touch with the humor in the story, was very hard to understand in a few parts. We switched over to a different version which was a more "professional" production; and the voice and picture quality, as well as the placement of the camera, made it easier to understand. Both were low budget productions, but worth your watch if you are interested.
And now, I suppose I should think about taking my tree down. Everyone has remarked on how cozy and homey the house is this past month. I have felt the same way, but I am convinced it is because of the tree and the Father Christmas letters on the wall. We still have none of our things, you know, so I am afraid that without the Christmas decorations, everything will feel sparse and cold. Maybe that should be my project- figuring out a non-Christmas-y way to decorate without all my stuff. Because the tree is bound to start drying out eventually!