Approximating the Christmas Spirit

This is one of those “breakfast blog” posts, so dubbed by my friend Dan, the kind you read over oatmeal. Or something.

A few years back, there was this graphic that featured Stephen Colbert and a board with eight lines of text. I had used it a few times around 2007, but I couldn’t get it to work correctly a few weeks ago. Too bad; I had worked out my first message:
THERE IS NO
“WAR ON CHRISTMAS”.
“HAPPY HOLIDAYS”
JUST NOTES
KWANZAA, HANUKKAH,
NEW YEARS EVE
ET AL.
CHILL OUT, OK?

(But listen to Charles Ingalls doing his Linus van Pelt imitation.)

And besides, Christmastime, by the church calendar, doesn’t start until Christmas day, running to Epiphany, in early January. We are currently in Advent. A party held right now would be an Advent party, if you want to get all technical/fussy about it. (Science tricks to impress/distract your family during said holiday gatherings.)

Every year recently, there has been a Medieval Faire in Albany in late October. I always look forward to it, in no small part, because that’s where/when I start my Christmas shopping in earnest. I know people who have finished their shopping before the summer solstice (Northern Hemisphere) is over. Actually, in the past, I had found presents earlier, then promptly hid them – from myself, only to rediscover them in February. A couple months of hiding I can keep track of. And for the decade or so when the Faire was on hiatus, I’d really struggle, especially re: the wife’s gift.

This is the first Christmas since my mother died. Purchasing something she wanted had always been tough in recent years, as she said she wanted for nothing. Last year, I hit on a bathrobe she apparently really liked, plus her word puzzles she used to keep her mind sharp. I so wish I still had the aggravation of buying for her.

Oh yeah, here’s the John Lennon seasonal song.

Check out Scott’s Comic Book Cover Advent Calendar, not just this year’s but over the previous seven seasons!

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2 thoughts on “Approximating the Christmas Spirit

  1. Roger, all true. There are the Twelve Days of Christmas, just like the song, and it ends on the Epiphany… but unfortunately, the comic book cover says it all. It’s become Santa’s birthday, or at least Nieman Marcus and Brookstone’s payday, plus WalMart and other accursed places.

    I don’t buy anything. We usually give in the name of family and friends to The Heifer Project, which provides third-world families (that getting closer as the months tick by) a cow for milk and cheese production, a beehive and all the training and equipment… so one family can become self-sustaining. This year, because of that unspeakable doofus in our state’s Capitol Dome, Gov. Voldemort, we are giving to a local coalition which is fighting to provide daytime “in from the cold and a hot lunch” for the homeless, since Scott Walker decided mid-December was the PERFECT time to vacate two usual homeless places to take shelter (the Capitol Dome cafeteria and the downtown library) for RENOVATION. Gee, Scott, can’t you be JUST A BIT more hostile to the down and out?

    Having said that, I cried when I read about your mom, and I understand. My folks are both gone 20 years now. I still miss them. I get it. Love, Amy http://sharplittlepencil.wordpress.com/2011/12/08/dragons-breath/

  2. “Occupy Xmas!”

    Xmas as we know it, as a family holiday centered around kids, is very much an artificial invention. In the 1800s the NYC patrician Washington Irving (Rip Van Winkle, etc.) cast about for a day to honor what he called “tradition.”

    His first choice, I recall, was Dec. 6, St. Nicholas Day. He and his fellow patricians (“Knickerbockers”) kept at it, and eventually settled on the old outlawed day of class riots, Dec. 25. This day caught on. Effectively Dec. 25 was pacified.

    So if people want to modify the not-so-ancient family holiday into something more familiar to themselves, such as Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or Solstice or whatever, then why not? The standard Xmas doesn’t work for a lot of people. And indeed, it’s hard to deny that Xmas hasn’t degenerated into nothing but an obligatory consumer event.

    Personally. I’d like to revive the class riots of merry old England. Those were the real Xmasses of yesteryear.

    “Occupy the mansions, and bring us wassail!”

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