I love the Christmas season. I love seeing the lights decorated all over neighborhoods and towns, especially when the smaller towns seem to go more out than the bigger communities. It may not have been a typical Christmas for many people as not only has Covid still hindered some plans but the weather was more like early Spring than early Winter in several parts of the country.
But one of my biggest pet peeves are the people who are so damn quick to take down the decorations you still have gift wrappings in the trash. I remember one time when I was working at the newspaper in Wagoner, Okla. and I came in just before 9 a.m. the day after Christmas only to discover the rest of the office had taken down all of the decorations.
I know one young lady who was wondering why a town was still turning on their Christmas lights when it was Dec. 28. It made me laugh. If you know how much effort city workers put in to setting up lights, they’re not going to work get up at 6 a.m. on Dec. 26 to start taking them down. Let’s not forget that some workers may be on a break from work.
If you’re not familiar with The 12 Days of Christmas, as of this posting, we’re on Day 2. The 12 days refer to the period between the Birth of Christ in Bethlehem to the Epiphany that he is Christ the Lord. Dec. 26 is celebrated by some as St. Stephens Day and Boxing Day by others. There’s also the Feast of Saints during this period.
So Christmas is 150 percent as longer than Hanukkah as it is 12 whole days. But yet, we don’t even celebrate anything past the day after. There might be some families still doing get togethers on the weekends, but for the rest of the week is college football bowl season.
New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are usually a cause for celebrating, ending one year and beginning a new one. At 43, I’ve never really been to a major New Year’s Eve party. The closest I came to was the Christmas break during my first year in college where a friend of mine went to the house of a local doctor who had a lot of people in town. I nearly drunk my glass of champagne before midnight, not thinking I was supposed to wait.
New Year’s Day is known for a lot of things. On Jan. 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. A lot of people eat sauerkraut and black-eyed peas which I don’t like either one. I’d rather maybe order a pizza on New Year’s Eve and eat leftovers.
But the 12 Days of Christmas are just about halfway over. The Day of Epiphany is Jan. 6, which thanks to a bunch of wannabe insurrectionist is now going to be remembered for a violent day in America. This is also known as Three Kings’ Day. Centuries ago, people used to have a celebration or a feast on the Twelfth Night. So, now you know the significance of the Shakespeare play you heard about but never studied.
Granted, people don’t celebrate much after Christmas as we’re all burned out from the excitement. We’re too busy taking down our decorations and getting the trees outside before too many needles fall off. You’re hoping your credit card statements aren’t ready yet.
As is the case January, without an insurrection attempt or inauguration of a President, it doesn’t seem like an eventful month. The Valentine’s Day stuff is still in the stores but the colder temperatures and shorter days of sunlight don’t give us much to celebrate.
I usually leave my stuff up to around the first week or so of January. Something about spending too much time putting up decorations only to take them down a few weeks later never sits well with me. My dad and stepmother used to put leave their artificial Christmas tree decorated and was able to wheel it down to a closet in the basement before they realized part of the excitement was decorating.
But to each their own. I just don’t like it when people are in a rush to get the holidays over. Maybe they need to re-evaluate why.
When do you take down your decorations? Please comment.