Tuesday, December 26, 2006

We are such Scrooges

In our peculiar case as a people, our tendency to simply stop celebrating Christmas at 12:01am this morning is partly rooted in the over-saturation we have in all things Christmas from Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve. I'm not saying that some of the things done during that time don't have a place or shouldn't have a place at the table of holiday celebration, just that we tend to overdo it, and by the time December 26th rolls around we're just tired of Christmas and we've lost the true spirit of this special time of year. We can blame the problem in part on overzealous retailers anxious for that holiday dollar. After all, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is really a glorified Christmas parade on a day when I am more concerned about what pies we will have to choose from at dinner than I am about shopping for presents.

The merchants (some of whom are so intent on turning the birth of Christ into dollars that they remind me of the moneychangers in the Temple) are not the only ones to blame for the oversaturation that leads to a fast shutdown of Christmas at the end of December 25th. We all collectively revel in the flood of early Christmas imagery. The Town of White Pine (where I happen to live) had its Christmas Parade earlier this month. White Pine is really a wide spot in the road and we don't have a lot of big retail stores looking to make large amounts money-the Dollar General Store and the Food City are the extent of our holiday economic engine. I thoroughly enjoyed the parade, and I thought that everyone did a wonderful job. You could tell the kids just loved it. The parade happened to be on December 2nd, however. Christmas was 23 days away and judging by appearances that day you would have thought it was Christmas Eve. No wonder we as a culture are so enthusiastic about the coming of Christmas, but so quick to dismiss it after only one measly day.

Contrary to both the culture and popular belief,
Christmas is not over. Today is the second day of Christmas and day two in the Christmas Octave. It also happens to be the Feast of Stephen -the same Feast of Stephen mentioned in the carol Good King Wenceslas. There are still ten days of Christmas left after today and six days remaining in the Christmas Octave. We have enough Christmas in us to run roughshod over normalcy from Thanksgiving until Christmas Day, but not enough Christmas within us to continue celebrating Christmas during Christmas.

Scrooge would be proud.



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