January means Theophany in the Orthodox Church, and Theophany means house blessings. Back when I was an Episcopalian (also back when, in a completely unrelated note, Theophany was called Epiphany), house blessings were rare, generally reserved for those who had moved into a new house. Now, however, a house blessing is a yearly treat--and by "treat" I mean "time when every Orthodox Christian on the planet works their fingers to the bone cleaning the house to impress the priest". Spring cleaning? What's that? Never heard of it.
The winter cleaning has begun at our house as today is Theophany and the threat of the house blessing looms large over our innocent little noggins. We also have a guest coming this weekend, so the guest bedroom is now spic and span--largely. The living room and dining room are calling out for a light picking-up and sweeping, and rooms that haven't known the warm touch of a thorough clean since we've moved in will finally sparkle again. Should be lovely.
I'm certain my words have made the house blessing sound like hell on earth, but I don't mean to. I'm rather looking forward to the blessing, especially since we haven't had the house blessed on account of having moved in during May. Look at it this way: While I clean the tangible junk out of the house, the blessing will clean the spiritual junk out of it. This house was built in 1970 and most likely hasn't been blessed before, so methinks there's probably lots of spiritual junk that needs cleaning out.
I have a large block of asadero cheese (the world's meltiest, most delicious cheese), so methinks I'll make queso fundido for the occasion. That's the upside of shopping at the "poor" grocery store in a border state: Mexican specialties aren't tucked away in the "ethnic foods" isle and you can actually find chorizo. Mmm, chorizo. Anyhoo, happy Theophany to all! S Prazdnikom!