The great vortex that is Christmas 2011 is petering out in the exhausted malaise of its celebrants, with presents and paper and ribbons and bows strewn everywhere about and gluttony proving the reason for its inclusion in the catalog of the Seven Deadly Sins.
Tomorrow Christmas will be forgotten for another year as dazed players push, and maybe even pepper spray, one another in a great stampede to profit from refunds, exchanges, and sales. Tomorrow morning, Christmas is, by dog, over.
Except in Canada and England and maybe some other places about which I do not know. The day after Christmas is a holiday in England and Canada known as Boxing Day. I know this because my Helen was Canadian and told me about it. This national phenomenon, like universal health care, again shows that some non-American customs and ideas might actually be superior. Like having a full day to rest up after the Christmas madness. Canada celebrates Thanksgiving too, but not on the same day as we do, and for different reasons, so it is not relevant here.
The theory of Boxing Day is that the occupants of the manor are to use that day to box up leftover food and perhaps some gifts for the household servants and the poor. Don’t know if they actually do that these days or not. Nevertheless, Boxing Day is, in the enlightened countries that recognize it, a public holiday.
I prefer to think of the day after Christmas as a day of rejoicing that the holiday is finally over. And a time for getting ready for the next holiday—one truly worth celebrating—New Year’s Eve ticking down and merging into New Year’s Day. This is about as secular as a holiday can get. At least in the traditions that spawned the Christian Christmas. It is absolutely essential to the mythic traditions to stay awake and await the midnight stroke of the clock that announces the arrival of the New Year. And, if possible, to kiss someone you love.
In that it seems that absolutely nothing of any consequence happens anywhere between Christmas and New Year’s Day, one can be inventive.
It is my custom to purchase the calendars for the next year only after Christmas has gone away. This is because they are usually on at least half price sale. After the first of the year, the calendars remaining for sale will become increasingly less expensive. But since I think it is tempting fate—I dare not say bad luck—not to have all calendars of my home and office reflecting the correct month and year, the first thing I do after the ball drops, and the first kiss of the year has happened, and the new year has been toasted, is to remove the old, now dead calendars, to reveal the calendars for the shining new year I have pre-placed behind the calendars of the year then gone. The requirement to purchase the calendars after Christmas does not apply to those calendars thoughtfully sent for free by some outfit trying to get one to contribute to something like Citizens Against Continental Drift.
Then the days before the next year can be spent listening to the media generated lists of accomplishments and errors done during the dying year, together with the names of persons you are expected to recognize who died during the year. And then there are the predictions of the psychics and other such. It would be fun to carefully write down these predictions and date them. Then, at the next New Year’s Day, they can be pulled out and submitted to a reality check. Might make a nice blog too. I think I will do it.
More on the coming year and the going year later.
December 25, 2011
© 2011 by Edwin Kagin.