Wednesday, December 26, 2012

It's the Most Prozac Day of the Year

You may be thinking that the title of today's entry is referring to the amount of people that experience the let-down of post-Christmas. I am actually referring to December 26th itself. If this day were self-aware, I imagine we would skip right to the 27th, because 12/26 would have offed itself about 1600 years ago. Other than two turtle doves, the second day of Christmas completely gets the shaft. At least the 12th day of Christmas gets to be "little" Christmas. A diminutive nickname nonetheless, but at least Greek Orthodox churches and some Hispanic communities celebrate it.

This brings me to another annoying feature of "Elf on the Shelf". The elf leaves on Christmas eve to go back to the North Pole. Seriously? They get to hang out at your house and mess with your stuff all, during what I imagine to be the busy season in Santa's workshop, and head back before the big guy even gets there?! Once again, the other 11 days of Christmas are treated like chopped liver. Ok, so its not the elf itself that get's on my nerves (It does, but I'm making a point!). It just raises two glaring problems in my mind.

One: Did kids really need something to get them fired up waiting for Christmas? Were there parents sitting around saying, "Gee, little Johnny doesn't seem to be obsessively crossing off days on the calendar and spell checking his letter Santa as feverishly as last year?" How do we get him really fired up about the month before Christmas?" I am pretty sure I haven't met a 6 year old yet that needs some addition impetus to get them excited about the arrival of Christmas. First point, the elf is redundant.

Two: I think there is somewhere that kids do need to get fired up about this season. Here's a hint, it has nothing to do with Santa, or elves, or presents. It's the impending birth of Jesus. We have wonderful tools already in place for that. The Advent calendar, Advent wreath, Jesse tree are just a few. There was also a wonderful Advent flyer of things to do with your children that I thought were really cool. Getting a map of the middle east and tracking Joseph and Mary's trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem was one such suggestion. How great would it be to get your kid's focused on Bethlehem instead of the arctic circle?

But I digress. Wow, you're getting two rants today! My original point was that we spend all this time preparing for this holiday. Shopping, putting up lights, baking, getting the tree, shopping, "holiday" parties, writing and sending cards; all this happens before the actual holiday. We've taken all the mirth and merriment of the Christmas time and put it in Advent! Then we squeeze Christmas itself into one evening and day. Christmas needs a ton more time to be celebrated. I'm finally in the mood to listen to Christmas music and there is not one single station that hasn't returned to their normal programming. I really wish someone would come up with an elf on the shelf like concept to help us get fired up about the other 11 days of Christmas. And there are still some really good reasons to keep partying! The Epiphany (that's when the three wisemen came, ya heathens), the celebration of Mary as Mother of God, Jesus' presentation in the temple, Jesus' Baptism. So let's keep spreading that holiday cheer and help talk December 26th off the ledge!