Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Little Christmas

As some of you already know - and the rest would have known sooner if I hadn't interrupted with this - MY WIFE and I celebrate Christmas on January 6th.

"January 6th? Why is that?", some of you say.

"Because we are traditionalists," we reply.

January 6th, otherwise known as Little Christmas or Epiphany, is the date given, in some Christian traditions, as the day the Three Wise Men (or Three Kings, or Magi) visited the infant Jesus and presented their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

(I assume Mary and Joseph appreciated the thought, and maybe especially the gold, but what an infant would do with such things is beyond me.)

Aside from historicity, celebrating on January 6th allows us to reserve our holiday best for other relatives and friends on or around December 25th. We are less harried and hurried during the days when most Americans are collapsing from fatigue. We have a spectacularly relaxed personal celebration on the 6th, reserved exclusively for the two of us.

(For those with an eye for bargains, it also allows one to pick up various Christmassy doo-dads and ephemera at cut-rate prices. Stores remove all vestiges of commercial xmas trappings immediately after the 24th, moving on to Valentines Day and other more profit-driven concerns. That's not a huge incentive for us to celebrate 'late', but it may be of use to you, if you're the type to hunt bargains.)

So I haven't much else to say here today, but I'd like to take this opportunity to thank those of you who have praised my writing via sending letters to the editor or leaving kind comments on any websites. I usually try to respond with a more personal thank you, if I have an e-mail address, but the season has had its usual share of hecticness (Hecticorousness? Hectorocity?) and if it seems I've forgotten you, I haven't. Your kindness dwells in my heart, not unlike that bacon sandwich from 1983.

So, anyway, Merry Little Christmas! Enjoy a song!

Soon, with more better stuff.

[Illustrations from  http://www.hzmre.com/holidays/adventtable.htm]


Shammickite said...

In my childhood, we called it Twelfth Night. It was the day to take down the Christmas tree and decorations. It was bad luck to leave the decorations up after Jan 6. Happy Christmas Jim, and Your Wife.

Craig said...

I think that the Eastern Christian churches place more, uh, liturgical emphasis on Epiphany than they do on Christmas. So you're hardly alone. . .

Jenn usually says 'hecticity', but I'm partial to 'hectoxicity'. . .

messymimi said...

Happy Little Christmas! Hope it was lovely, and you both got what you wanted most.

joeh said...

When I used to decorate, this was the day I would take down the decorations.

rich k said...

my granddaughter was born last january 6th, i forgot about Little Christmas until I read your post. remember Miss Hickey 5th grade, that was when we could celebrate in the public schools

Jackie said...

As many times as I've listened to that song, (thank you for posting it) I've never thought about what one of the words in the song actually meant.
Now, I know.
Did I mention the word...?

Suldog said...

Thanks, all, for the nice comments. Yes, back in my childhood I recall taking down the tree around this time. But when MY WIFE and I started thinking about things, and reading up a little, it just seemed like such a sensible way to take some pressure off on the other day and make our own celebration less harried and more relaxed, maybe more contemplative in some ways, too.

RICH K - Great to hear from you! We had a lot of good ones, but Mrs. Hickey was just about everybody's favorite teacher at the Gilbert Stuart. Wonderful woman.

Absolut Ruiness said...

Merry Christmas to thee Jim, the Incredible. And do convey my best wishes and prayers to Thy Wife.

Daryl said...

i've always thought the 2 wise men had wise wives who said wait a few days before you visit, give the parents some space ... and the gold ... well it was for Mary and Joseph so they could pay for a nanny. silly

OldAFSarge said...

Good stuff Jim. I keep a little Christmas in my heart the whole year round. Or try to.

Hope your Christmas season was jolly, blessed, and filled with cheer.

Even if the Bruins did get slaughtered in the "Winter" Classic. (Winter started a bit late this year. Not that I'm complaining...)

Tabor said...

Whenever you celebrate the point is not when but how. Happy New year.

(not necessarily your) Uncle Skip, said...

I sent PHG her gift last week.
It was due to arrive yesterday.
Somehow the delivery service found a way to take a day and a half to go from South Bend to Toledo.
Anyhow Little Christmas was a day late in Central Michigan.

The good news is she likes it ...and all the other stuff in the box.