Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Time

The Twelve Days of Christmas are only up to Day 3. There's plenty of Christmas time to still come after the "three French hens," but denuded Christmas trees are already being tossed into dumpsters, and festive lights and decorations are being torn down and stashed away.

Each year, this American rush to stow Christmas in the attic always makes me feel forlorn. Why are we in such a hurry to dispense with the most joyous time of year?

As I never tire of pointing out to people, December 25 is the merely first day of Christmas. It continues in twelve sequential days, up to January 5, the eve of the Epiphany--which celebrates the Magi visiting the Christ child.

There's a Christmas carol, "Good King Wenceslas," entirely devoted to December 26--"the feast of Stephen." In the British Isles, December 26 is part of the Christmas holiday. When the kids and I were in Ireland three years ago, everyone referred to it as "Stephen's Day" (they pronounced it "Steffen's Day"). It's called "Boxing Day" in Britain and Canada, but the point is--it's still Christmas time!

Those twelve lords will come a-leaping soon enough to let you it's time to move ahead into the New Year. So in the meanwhile, sit back, sip some eggnog, and enjoy your Christmas tree for a few more magical evenings.