The sixth of January is traditionally the twelfth day of Christmas, Epiphany, and is the day that my family always took down the holiday decorations. (Kim would “de-Christmas” a bit earlier when we were married, but it’s nonetheless a time of reflection.) Half a century of Christmases means a lot of celebrations, and many collected adornments. Many of our decorations are quite personal. The ones in this photo were sent to us by my sister, a decade ago, when we were living in Arkansas. The stockings were made up for Whatsit (our cat) and Sampson (our dog), both of whom have since passed on. Now we have some newer “little ones with fur pants” (a quote courtesy my friend Susie, who recently lost her own dog of many years), but the ones who live in our memories remain special.

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