Thursday, January 03, 2008

'tis still The Season

While many other folks have put away their Christmas decorations, kicking their trees to the curb, that's not the way it is at the Suldoghouse.

For one thing, our Christmas tree is ALIVE. You can read about him HERE, or even listen to his story (narrated by yours truly) HERE. Aside from that consideration, however, there is another mitigating factor. We haven't celebrated Christmas yet.

I suppose I should be clearer concerning that last statement. We did celebrate Christmas on December 25th, as most of the Christian world did, but we didn't finish celebrating Christmas then. MY WIFE and I wait until January 6th to exchange our presents with each other. That's The Feast Of The Epiphany, in some traditions also known as Little Christmas.

We began our tradition, of waiting to exchange gifts, a few years back. We did so for a number of reasons, the chief one being that it allowed us to focus our attentions on friends and family during the more traditional Christmas holiday without having to hustle around like a couple of beheaded chickens trying to also prepare for each other. It makes for a much more stress-free and relaxed holiday season.

Of course, it is also a quite legitimate way to celebrate Christ's birth, even if it falls somewhat outside of the modern-day norm. The twelve days of Christmas, well-known from the song of the same name, refers to the time between December 25th and January 6th. So, those of you who already have everything back in the attic or basement have actually cheated yourselves out of a week-or-so of cheer.

(By the way, this extended post-25th celebration is one of the major reasons why I despise early Christmas advertising, early holiday music, and most of the other dreck foisted upon us by merchants intent on fattening their wallets. I know when the holidays really are, and I know I'll be dead sick of them, by the time they truly roll around, if I start going full-tilt in early November or [God save us all, but it happens in some places] late October.)

I'll be back on the 8th.

Have yourself a merry Little Christmas
Let your heart be light
From now on, our troubles will be out of sight

Have yourself a merry Little Christmas
Make the Yuletide gay
From now on, our troubles will be miles away

Here we are as in olden days
Happy golden days of yore
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Gather near to us once more

Through the years, we all will be together
If the fates allow
Hang a shining star upon the highest bough
And have yourself a merry Little Christmas now

[By the way, the illustration used at the start of this post comes from a nice little fiction concerning the Magi, found at]


lime said...

well, we celebrate it on the 25th like most folks, but i don't undecorate until after jan 6th for the reason that it is feast of the three kings, little christmas, orthodox christmas...take your pick. and happy celebrations.

Rhea said...

How can you WAIT to open yer presents?!@?!?! Oh, wait. You're adults.

Brian in Oxford said...

ha-ha, you got called an adult! :)

I will even reject the "oh sure, everything's on sale now" cynicism one might encounter.

Haven't they figured out that Jesus's real birthday is sometime in spring anyway? Could you imagine having Christmas and Easter a couple of weeks apart?

Hope your celebration goes well!

endangered coffee said...

Dammit, and the stores have already sold me on all their Valentine's Day displays.

Melissa said...

Enjoy the day with your wife! I like the idea of waiting until then to open presents.

Kuanyin said...

Does this mean that you and your wife celebrate New Year's before Christmas? I guess it does!:-) I've never heard before of what you write, but it sounds like a lovely tradition. For the record, our decorations are still up for several reasons: I'm too tired to take them down PLUS they're so beautiful we're still enjoying them!

Suldog said...

Lime - Thanks!

Rhea - We like to pretend we're adults, sometimes.

Brian - See above re: adult.

As for Jesus's birthday, you're probably right. The accounts of Mary's visitation by the angel refer to the sixth month, which is Elul on the Jewish calendar, roughly equivalent to August or September. Assuming her pregnancy went to full term, that would be a resultant April or May birth.

However, there's always the possibility that the pregnancy did not immediately follow the visitation - see Abram and Sara, in the Old Testament, for delayed pregnancy following word that it would happen - making December possible (if not probable.) The other evidence suggests a Spring birth also - shepherds in the fields, etc.

EC - Don't get me started on that stuff again already.

Melissa - It does afford us time to reflect and savor.

Kuanyin - As I said, we do celebrate Christmas on the 25th of December, but we carry on the celebration through January 6th. So, New Years falls in the middle of it all.

Chuck said...

Hope you have yourself a merry little...New Year's Christmas thing?

Deni said...

Hope you and your family enjoyed the New Year and Christmas...

Melinda said...

Merry Little Christmas Sully! I hope it's every bit as wonderful as the "big" one :)

Deborah Gamble said...

And I thought I was simply unorganized to not have all the Christmas decorations put away. I now have a much more legitate reason. THANK YOU!

david mcmahon said...

Dear Jim and Mrs Suldog,

You're probably exchanging presents as I write this.

And the decorations are still up in the Authorblog household!

Cheers and all the best of 08, my friend


Anali said...

I hope you had a Merry Little Christmas! When I was a kid, my parents would always wait to take the tree down after the 6th also, but we didn't have a celebration or anything. I think it's a nice tradition to wait to exchange your gifts until then. It seems more authentic somehow.