Thursday, November 03, 2005

Christmas Creep

Craig Barker takes a stand against October Christmas music and calls upon others to do the same. I think he's right. Christmas is a wonderful time of year, and is crucial to me for both strictly religious and more broadly spiritual reasons. The concept of a "White Christmas" is almost single-handedly responsible for my hopes to remain in the north when I hit the job market. I don't even have a problem with some of the more commercialized aspects, as most of them are filled with negative content because of flaws in people's attitudes rather than anything innate to the aspects themselves. But starting before Thanksgiving, much less Halloween, reduces its impact by spreading it thinly across too much of the year.

I can't think of any culture with a observance longer than the 40 days of the Christian Lent. Our culture has a yearly cycle in which everything has its place, and if we start singing about snow in the fall, we lose our ability to appreciate that aspect of creation even as we start effectively subordinating other holidays as part of some dream version of an uber-festival which probably can't handle the pressure and will inevitably disappoint. If someone wants to claim some value to prolonging its religious aspects in this manner, then they should note that the liturgical calendar already has events during October and November which have their own purposes. With the exception of the Methodist Kingdomtide, churches generally observe it for only a few weeks, and while as is the nature of celebrations of majority religions this one has taken on important secular functions as well, I still think we should heed that wisdom.

UPDATE: While we're on the subject, people are now observing both Diwali and Eid al-Fitr. Note that Ramadan is only one month while Diwali is five days, though presumably with a great deal of lead-in.


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