Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Boxing Day

That's what they call today in the United Kingdom (I still call it Great Britain, but I'm "old-timey"), Canada and other parts of the Commonwealth. According to the Pedia of the Wikis:
"Boxing Day is traditionally the day following Christmas Day, when servants and tradesmen would receive gifts from their superiors."

In Germany today is the 2nd day of Christmas (zweiten Tag von Weihnachten) also known as St Stephen's Day.

However you wish to view it, Christmas Day itself has passed. Much to my wife's delight and much to my dismay. It's a day I wait for with anticipation every year. It has been this way for as long as I can remember. I am always sad to see it pass astern, but I need to remember that for another Christmas to be, this one must pass.

Now the Christmas Season has not ended, not that you'd know from the "After Christmas Sales" and other post-holiday hulabaloo on the idiot box television. And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is what irks Your Humble Scribe most of all. It's like the capitalists have sucked every dime they can out of Christmas, now it's time for all of us peasants to flock to the stores and spend whatever we have left on all the stuff (now marked down of course) with which the big stores overstocked themselves.

Now before you label me as some sort of wild-eyed leftist Commie radical e-jit, let me explain. I am a big fan of capitalism. Buy low, sell high. Charge what the market will bear, et cetera, et cetera. What I don't like is advertisements.

What I don't like is the assertion by the advertisers that "Christmas is Over". Sorry buttheads, Christmas is NOT over. Christmas ends with Epiphany, traditionally observed on the sixth of January. According to (again) the Wiki-ites:

Epiphany, which traditionally falls on January 6, is a Christian feast day that celebrates the revelation of God the Son as a human being in Jesus Christ. Western Christians commemorate principally (but not solely) the visitation of the Biblical Magi to the Baby Jesus, and thus Jesus' physical manifestation to the Gentiles.
When we lived in Germany, we were privileged to see this:

In the German-speaking lands, groups of young people called "Sternsinger" (star singers) travel from door to door. They are dressed as the three Wise Men, plus the leader carrying a star, usually of painted wood attached to a broom handle.
Often these groups are four girls, or two boys and two girls for the benefit of singing their songs in four-part harmony, not necessarily three wise men at all. German Lutherans often note in a lighthearted fashion that the Bible never specifies that the "Weisen" (Magi) were men, or that there were three.
The star singers will be offered treats at the homes they visit, but they also solicit donations for worthy causes, such as efforts to end hunger in Africa, organized jointly by the Catholic and Evangelical-Lutheran churches. As a sign of gratitude, the young people then perform the traditional house blessing, by marking the year over the doorway with chalk.
In Roman Catholic communities this may be a serious spiritual event with the priest present even today, but among Protestants it is more a tradition, and a part of the German notion of Gemütlichkeit.
Usually on the Sunday following Epiphany, these donations are brought into churches. Here all of the children who have gone out as star singers, once again in their costumes, form a procession of sometimes dozens of wise men and stars.

So, speaking for myself (in other words, hush, don't tell the Missus) Christmas continues, at least for another few days. Our tree will stay up until after New Year's and our lights will be lit for the same length of time.

For me it is, in some ways, always Christmas. It retreats to a little place inside of me for most of the year. That place where I am still six years old and will always be that age. The place where hope and magic lives. That place which remains unstained by the later tragedies and sorrows of life.

It's a place where ALL of my loved ones are still present, those I knew as a child and those whom I met later in life. It's a place where there is music, laughter and great love. It's that place inside of me where it's always Christmas. I like to think that it's a little bit like Heaven. Or Heaven as I hope it will be. And for those of you who may wonder at Your Humble Scribe's religious inclinations, Jesus lives there too. 


3 comments:

  1. I hear ya and I share yer sentiments on the commercialization (you can read that word a couple o' ways) of Christmas.

    On another level... thanks for the reminder. I have a traditional (for me) Boxing Day post I always put up and it had completely slipped my mind until I wandered over this way. Gotta go fix that.

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    1. As to the two way reading of "commercialization", copy all - Roger that.

      Went over for to read the traditional Buck Boxing Day Post, enjoyed it very much. Also I thank you for the link kind Sir.

      (Yeah, yeah I know, don't call me Sir, I was an NCO, I worked for a living, etc. etc... \snark off)

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    2. Heh. I call EVERYBODY "sir." You are not alone...

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