Sunday, November 27, 2011

Wait a moment

I'm feeling a little bad about my ungracious reaction to my housemate's Christmas tree. Though I hope I didn't show it I felt like something unclean had been brought into my house, like, oh I don't know, a Nascar shrine. He told me that he'd read online that Americans put trees up November 27th and there seemed no harm in starting something so cheerful a few days early - after all, Christmas trees are on sale and up in many stores. I told him our family tradition was that Christmas starts the 24th: Christmas is when Christmas starts, not ends! He'd heard of "Twelfth Night," hadn't he? (He had, of course, and, I imagine unlike most Americans, knew what I was referring to in mentioning it.)
Where did the date of November 27th come from? He told me he'd found it on several (surely Japanese) sites. It is, in fact, the start of Advent, which is a dark, not a cheerful season. Yes, it's about waiting for the light, but at least in recent years I've found each Advent to be discouraging, dispiriting. (Our church starts an Advent series next week called "It ain't all Jingle Bells"!) The world seemed not just in need of light, but beyond help, indeed, hardly deserving of that help. Seasonal affective disorder speaks! Let's see if that happens again this year... (Above is my wreath for the year, constructed of Hans Christian Andersenian discards from sadly premature Christmas trees.)

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