Monday, December 28, 2009

On the third day of Christmas

I don't know what to make of this. It's... quiet.

Too quiet.

Yes, that's right, Miss V is in Utah again visiting her mom and grandma, and here we are trying to get re-adjusted to the lack of sound and fury that comes in the wake of a teenager's absence.

Also, yep, it's Day #3 of Christmas. The Christmas season doesn't officially end until Epiphany/Twelfth Night/my sister's birthday. You can tell there were traditionally twelve days of Christmas festivities even as late as Dickens' time; if you read A Christmas Carol carefully, you'll note some indications in the text that Scrooge spends an indefinite amount of time with the Ghost of Christmas Present: "The Christmas Holidays appeared to be condensed into the space of time they passed together", and Scrooge waits to ask the Ghost about his aged appearance "until they left a children's Twelfth Night party" (that is, the evening of January 6).

I'm not really sure why Christmas has been dialed down to a single day of intense jollity, followed by a kind of post-partum holiday depression. Maybe it has something to do with the American obsession with work. Maybe it has something to do with retailers creating an artificial deadline ("only ten more shopping days until Christmas!"), encouraging shoppers to panic and spend far more than they usually would. Maybe it has something to do with the gradual loss of shared holiday traditions within our culture. In any case, I think we lose something important by losing "the Christmas season" in favor of focusing only on Christmas Day.

And who says we have to? I'm making me some seed-cake and other goodies, and we're going to engage in some modern festivities! Not sure yet what they'll be. Have any suggestions?


Wendy Jean said...

i have been thinking about this same subject. my sister, who is already very high strung was so overwhelmed by the sales and errands and to do's beginning as early as black friday that by the time christmas day rolled around she was done and took her tree down that afternoon!

she failed to understand or really allow herself to just feel the holiday, the spirit of togetherness, etc.

i purposefully leave my tree up to enjoy the warmth and coziness of the season. i love the alll the symbols and reminders of the things that i hold dear.

i think bringing back the 12 days might help others feel more relaxed about the season and not just a big build up to what ends up a stressful climax for most people.

LDahl said...

Our holiday starts on Christmas eve and goes until Jan 6th. The family is so extended that there are all types of beliefs and creeds, it takes all that time just to exclude everyone and everything that we want our holiday to be. Every year it ends up being a "custom" holiday and by the time it is all over we are set for another year:)))

Scarehaircare said...

post your seed cake recipe and a few other "I Can Cook That" episodes you've promised. I'm always looking for a new way to celebrate and this sounds like fun. Any particular traditions?

Soozcat said...

Yeah, Captain Midnight is in charge of the "I Can Cook That" stuff. However, I will post the seed-cake recipe on Hello World for your eating pleasure. :)