"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."--Terry Eagleton

"It is impossible for me to say in my book one word about all that music has meant in my life. How then can I hope to be understood?--Ludwig Wittgenstein

“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice."--Bryan Stevenson

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Time is but the stream we go a-racing in....

"Well, so that is that...."

I'm not sure why we are so anxious for Christmas to arrive, and then equally anxious to dispose of it as soon as it does.

I remember one year when I was in college, and home for Thanksgiving.  My father told me he wasn't going to buy a Christmas tree that year, unless I went out and got it.  Worried all the trees would be gone by the time I got back home (in about 2 weeks; and it was an unreasonable fear anyway, as I only went to school about an hour's drive away), I gathered up my friends (did we do anything then without an accompaniment of friends?) and went to the Xmas tree lot.

I still remember them razzing me about buying a tree so early.  Now I see people putting up trees before Thanksgiving, and yanking down the broomstraw counterfeit before nightfall on Xmas day, they are already so tired of it.

Christmas decorations went up in public places this year at Hallowe'en, and everyone clamors for Santa and Christmas to come and make us merry and light and by the time it is the 25th day of the 12th month, we can't wait for it to be over with.  No one wants to hear another Christmas song or hear another greeting involving "Merry" or "Happy" or even "Season's."

Why do we do this?

I like the Twelve Days better, and more and more I'm learning to keep them.  I don't leave the lights and decorations up much past Epiphany, but I don't put them up too much early than a week before Xmas Eve, either.  Outside decorations, in fact, are more subject to the weather than the calendar.  I don't want to be caught stringing lights in an early cold-snap (that never lasts long, but I don't have all day every day to put up lights outside).  If I had greens in the house, I'd try to leave them up 'til Candlemas.

It's a pity we're so anxious now to race on to the next holiday (Valentine's Day cards were out before New Year's Day), and again so anxious to discard it when it gets here (discard Valentine's Day!  Get it?!  Okay, sorry...).  Why can't we wait until December 25th and then extend the festive season until Ash Wednesday?  Is it just because there is no commerce in it?

Oh, I really hope not.


Blogger Heidi aka Mom said...

Yes, it's carnival time between Christmas and Ash wednesday in many other countries and it seems to me lots of money can be made from that - costume and masquerades and parades. I also follow the liturgical calendar in my decorations, and for next year i am thinking i might include that tradition of moving the magi closer and closer day by day to the nativity scene, and arriving on epiphany.

3:38 PM  

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