Remember this prosperous gentleman complete with cat, enjoying his December feast? I not only got the wrong month, but also the wrong manuscript., for which I apologise to my readers.
In fact it illustrates the Calendar month of January (where the year frequently begins with feasting) and comes from the Spinola Hours, one of the finest of the surviving Books of Hours.
Here is the December Calendar page from the series, which shows unsurprisingly, pigs being slaughtered, a well set-up bakehouse, and a lovely wintry river in the background. The borders contain scenes from the Gospels and saints, and Capricorn is shown as land-based hairy goat.
December Calendar page from the Spinola Hours, Flemish c. 1510-20, Workshop of the Master of James IV of Scotland. Courtesy of the Getty Museum
For anyone who would like to know more about these fascinating medieval illuminated manuscripts, I can only recommend Christopher de Hamel's book Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts; there is still time to add it to your Christmas list.