We have complained for decades about the commercialization of Christmas. The situation has only become worse. Since perhaps the 1960s we’ve been hounded with Christmas ads from Thanksgiving on. Now they begin before Thanksgiving.
Instead of resisting, we are pulled into the mad rush created by these stores. We shop. We fret. We rush. We worry. We search online for products. We hear Christmas songs bad, good and cloying. We don’t take time out from the mad dash.
All of this leads up to Christmas day. After midnight December 25th, Christmas is treated like a boyfriend or girlfriend someone has dropped. He or she is not supposed to be mentioned. The music stops in the stores and on the radios. The wrappings are cleaned up.
And we make ourselves part of this. The pressure is on us to finish our eggnog. Our neighbors take their trees to the curb. People remove the large snowmen and Santas from their yards.
In the middle ages, when life was a little more low-key, people celebrated twelve days of Christmas. The partying began December 25th and continued through Epiphany, the time usually associated with the Magi’s visit.
The medieval practice should be restored. If we allowed ourselves to celebrate at least a few days after the 25th, then we might actually begin to enjoy the holiday we stress ourselves to prepare for.