Though January 1st was officially the first day of 2015, Lin never considers the previous year truly ended until she “de-decorates” the house and burns the Christmas tree. We spent a morning lugging boxes from the basement, taking all the Xmas decorations down and ornaments off the tree and packing them carefully till next year...then lugging all the boxes back down to the basement. (In New England, we refer to the basement as the “cellah”.) After the ornaments were all stowed, we cleaned and vacuumed and straightened up. The vacuum cleaner always smells good after it has sucked up all those dry pine needles. The house, which usually looks elegant, always looks stark when the decorations go away.
Lin and Matt lugged the tree out to the chiminaria and cut it into burnable pieces to get the fire blazing.
Anything bad that's happened during the year or is currently going on gets written down on a piece of paper and thrown into the fire with the tree and promptly gets burned away. It's a cleansing of the old year and a clean start to the new … kind of an extension of the Yule celebration.
Of course, there is drinking involved. After all, it's cold outside and hot, mulled cider with rum does wonders to keeping a body warm … both physically and spiritually.
There were football games to watch afterward and a huge pot of Lemay Special was simmering on the stove. How can the year ahead be anything but wonderful?