My notes on the month ahead.
January 2018 Sketch click here to download the PDF
Left in black and white for you to color.
There are more Epiphany customs than I could fit, including of course the one best known to Americans, the King Cake. This pastry ring is often filled with nuts and cinnamon sugar, covered with icing and colored sprinkles in purple, green, and yellow. A plastic baby Jesus figure (or similar token) is hidden inside, and the lucky person who discovers it in their slice of cake is the "king" for the year, or has to host the party next year, customs vary. This same cake is sold throughout the Epiphany to Mardi Gras season. However, this pastry always looks unappetizing to me, after all the sweets we've already had at Christmas--and store-bought versions are always off limits since I am a celiac--so I prefer to emphasize other Epiphany customs.
In my house, I am methodically putting Christmas decorations away. First the stockings, then the tree (it was dried out and making me nervous), next the nutcrackers, outdoor lights, and assorted seasonal knicknacks, and eventually, at Epiphany or Candlemas, the nativity scenes. My favorite this year is a blue and white china nativity set that I have sitting in the window with white tulips. My traditional nativity set is sitting in the kitchen window, where we can see it all day long as we wash dishes and prepare meals. The advent wreath with Christ candle will sit on the dining table to be lit daily until Epiphany (if the candles hold out) and then it will be recycled, as it's made from a tree round and cedar greens.
Lighting candles daily is important to me in these gray, dark, cold and wet days. Where I live the sun is now rising about 8:00 am and sets by 4:30 pm, and most days are cloudy, chilly and wet all the way through til after Easter. If the Narnia had had the weather of the Pacific Northwest, the phrase would have been "always November and never Winter (let alone Christmas)!"
Have a blessed month of January!