Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Fifth Day of Christmas

My pet peeve at this time of year is the sudden disappearance of Christmas as of midnight, December 25. All the Christmas songs in which we have been saturated for weeks vanish from the airwaves, decorations start coming down, and the season is buried in the stampeding return to the humdrum and the routine.

Christmas begins on December 25--at sundown
. That's why people used to refer to "Christmas time" or, farther back, "Christmas tide." It's a joyful and meaningful season that should not be rushed out the front door along with the wrapping trash. The famous carol that goes on at length about the Twelve Days of Christmas ends the holiday on January 6, on the Feast of the Epiphany, which commemorates the Magi (popularly known as the Three Wise Men) visiting the manger in Bethlehem to bring gifts. In fact, in many countries people exchange gifts on Epiphany, which makes perfect sense.

Today is the Fifth Day of Christmas. We're not even halfway through this magical season that gets nary a mention after Day One, except for dreary TV ads for merchandise clearance. So I thought I'd try to keep the Christmas spirit alive with this link to Yule Blog 2010 on "The Meaning of Christmas." I'm also still playing Christmas carols and lighting my tree each night. Why hurry away the happiest time of the year?

Merry Christmas time to all.