For many Christians, today is the Twelfth Night, the day that signals the end of the Christmas season.
But for most of us here in the Cayman Islands, the Christmas season was over some time between Boxing Day and last Tuesday, when schools reopened and the 2006 work year began.
Superstition says it is bad luck to keep your Christmas decorations up past the Twelfth Night, which some Christians say occurs on 5 January, while others say happens on 6 January.
While putting up Christmas decorations is part of the holiday tradition for many people, and something to be enjoyed with family over a glass of eggnog or mulled cider, putting away the decorations is much more like a chore.
Putting up decorations evokes the enchanting promise of the Christmas season that has just begun, but putting them away can bring the realisation of a long year ahead, and help contribute to what has become known as the post-holiday blues.
Last year, the post-holiday blues hit many people particularly hard.
The 2004 Christmas holidays gave us a brief respite from the reality of the Hurricane Ivan recovery, and while some thought the beginning of 2005 would bring with it a magical transformation of things returning to normal, it did not.
Instead, it brought with it such things as the on-set of post-traumatic stress disorder, protracted insurance settlements, rising crime, stagnant stay-over tourism, and other hurricane-related miseries.
2005 was a year of survival for some, of hard work and long hours for others. It was depressing for most of us. On top of it all, the rigors of post-Ivan life took the lives of too many from us last year, especially our elderly.
The prospects for 2006, however, are brighter. The Ivan recovery is still ongoing, but life is becoming more and more like it was before the hurricane. The indicators show a rebounding tourism industry, rising real estate prices, and a strengthening economy. All in all, we have much more to be happy about this year than last.
So, if you haven’t already, get those Christmas decorations down, not with a sense of sadness that the holiday are gone, but with a sense of promise for a year that can be so much better than 2005.