2008 12 25
THE 1st DAY of CHRISTMAS
We have been snowbound for the better part of 2 weeks now. Actually, I have been pleased about this as it has slowed down the frenzy and excess that characterizes our modern Christmas. In my childhood (the 1940's and 1950's) we had our family Christmas on the 25th and then visited grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins during the following week which was still Christmas.
In the 1990's we had a few Christmases when adults watched as children tore into piles of presents and then sat back and asked "is that all?" or "are there more?". No one said thank you, they didn't even know who gave them what. They didn't take the time to recognize from whom each present was given. This took something away from them even more than the adults. The chance to be thankful and appreciative of what they had.
This year no one is able to get out, so we will be going to see my grandchildren later in the week, possibly the 4th day of Christmas, which feels more right to me. Having everything happen in one day, all of the visiting and present opening is exhausting. It is much better spread out for the 12 days. It is strange that our culture will recognize the 8 days of Hanukkah, the 7 days of Kwanzaa, but not the 12 days of Christmas. We are taking our turkey dinner to our 86 year old neighbor's house as her daughter is unable to get there. We will enjoy a leisurely present opening when we get back home. We will enjoy grandchildren opening presents from us at a slower pace and take time to ponder the true meaning of the 12 days of Christmas.