Our non-Christmas non-dinner today was open-faced California grilled veggie sandwiches. Mmmmm, delicious.
We’re saving our family Christmas hullabaloo for December 30, when both daughters will be around. Stockings will hang by the chimney with care on the night of December 29, while New-Years-Eve-Eve will feature more gifts and big festive meal.
There’s something comforting about shifting “Christmas” (the name we give our family’s own pagan festival of gifting and getting together) away from December 25, the official birthday of the Christ child since 336 A.D. It somehow gives us a little more leverage against the thousand and differing voices trying each year to tell other people how Christmas “should” be celebrated.
The commercial push to buy and spend, for example, doesn’t push so hard on people who don’t share the same “last-minute shopping days” with everyone else.
Our first early Christmas was in 1999 or so. Because we were scheduled to spend Dec. 25 on an airplane bound for Chile, we moved Christmas to December 21. Amazingly, the next four days felt calmer for us than for anyone else we knew–getting ready for 3 weeks on the other side of the Equator and the International Date Line was much less stressful than gearing up for Christmas.
Of course, our family might just cheat a tiny bit. As I type this, Frank is thumping out “Joy to the World” on the piano. And we had some Christmas stollen for lunch dessert.
Anyway, I wish all my readers a good celebration of any kind you fancy, and a happy 2005 to follow!