When Mr. Gaelic and I bought our Christmas tree today, there was still snow on the branches from earlier this week. Yes, it's only seven days until Christmas. No, we weren't too busy to get one before now. It was on purpose. Waiting until Advent is over before we begin celebrating Christmas. Advent ends tomorrow.
Next year, we'll be buying our tree from a cut-it-yourself tree farm. The church where we usually buy our tree sold out yesterday. The garden center where we purchased this year's tree only had a handful left. The salesman at the garden center told us that they don't get fresh shipments during December; they get one shipment of trees just before Thanksgiving since people want to decorate after the turkey and leftovers are in the fridge.
If I had it to do over again, I would institute some changes in our house. Santa would visit on December 6th, the feast of Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra. He's the saint that "evolved" into Santa Claus. December 25th would be a religious celebration of the Nativity of Our Lord and not a celebration of commercialization. Adults would exchange gifts on New Year's Day as they did in Medieval and Renaissance times.
I already buck one trend. There is no Easter Bunny.
During Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday, everyone in the family gives up something. During those 40 days, we put whatever we have given up in our Easter baskets. Whether it is Starbucks, chocolate, or scotch, when we are tempted to partake during Lent, we put it in the basket. For things like scotch or Starbucks, we put in either a new bottle of single malt or a gift card for lattes.
When Easter rolls around, we can break our fast of what was given up. But it's a more meaningful symbol of sacrifice if we can see it every day on the dining room table. After all, that's part of the meaning of Easter -- sacrifice (Good Friday) and resurrection (Easter).
How did I get on Easter? Oh, yeah, before we forsake Him on Good Friday we have to birth the Baby. Now, if only I could just turn back the clock a few years and have the kids' stockings filled two weeks after Thanksgiving by that almost-forgotten bishop . . .
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