Today is the Feast of the Epiphany. It has been celebrated since at least the 4th century. An Italian story for this day is the legend of Old Befana. The Wise Men stopped by her house (doubtless the same group of Wise Men who travelled through Provence in yesterday’s song) and asked her to join them, but she was too busy cleaning her house and said she would catch up later. She never did catch up, and is said to fly around on Twelfth Night every year, taking presents to kids while she searches for the Christ child.

This is the day for removing all holiday decorations, and particularly all greenery, from your house, in order to avoid bad luck in the New Year. We are not superstitious, but we are traditionalists, so we will have an undecorating party today. Gingerbread is the traditional special food, and #2 daughter has had an inspiration about that. We will make gingerbread cupcakes with peach frozen yogurt, topped with caramel, pecans, and almonds. Since our anticipated houseguest is a guy from Kansas City, we will also roast a large piece of beef. Since he has told us that he loves carrots, we will have those, too.

My favorite definition of superstition is that it is the practice of doing ineffective things when no effective things are available. I think I behave a bit superstitiously about weather. For example, I have never mentioned the hitherto-balmy winter we have been having, even in the context of knitting wooly thngs. And in my discussions of holiday songs, I have included no snow songs, even though there are several that I really like. If you did not know that I was not superstitious, you might have thought that I did not want to jinx the upper-60s winter we have been having here.

But today we have snow. DrDrew (, who is supposed to visit us today, was intending to fly back into KC today and then drive down here. I don’t know that he will make it. #2 daughter is supposed to return to her school on Monday. We will see. And I was planning to walk to work, since my car is still not repaired. Hmmm. Good thing that I have wooly things to bundle up in.

If we have another foot or so, I can just stay home and knit instead.

One last seasonal song for you: “O Morning Star, so Fair and Bright.”

This is not a jolly song, but a majestic one, and very beautiful. It was written by Phillip Nicolai in 1599, but was possibly based on an earlier tune from Strasbourg. J.S. Bach’s harmony absolutely makes this hymn, so invite a small choir in to sing it with you as you remove all stray greenery and eat gingerbread, and you will have the complete experience.