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Subject:  Re: Thanksgiving is dead Date:  11/13/2013  1:28 PM
Author:  flyerboys Number:  438340 of 544811

(Long, ill-tempered, and somewhat ridiculous but when you punch the old juke box it will play stuff.)

I make a distinction between observing

[Coming; coming to; approach; arrival;
the holy season of preparation comprising the weeks including the 4 Sundays before Christmas]

[Festival of the winter solstice;
an occasion of general license, in which the passions or vices have riotous indulgence;
a period of unrestrained revelry.]


[Festival of the breaking through of Divine Love into the realm of the everyday and material;
the Twelve Days from December 25 through January 6]

Once upon a time, for Christians, Advent was a 'low season' [a time of moderate fasting and restraint] of spiritual preparation, "opening the self" by meditating and praying upon "Hope" [the indissoluble connection of all things to God] and the urgent need to transcend the ego.

I love Advent, and my enjoyments of it include NOT SHOPPING, seeking peace and reflection, lots of gardening and cooking, and Advent songs ("Come oh Come Emmanuel", "Mary Had a Baby", "The Angel Gabriel", "I am Bound for the Promised Land," "A Rose Ere Blooming"), which are very different from the Christmas Caroles and Hymns that ought be reserved for the blow-out joy of the Twelve Days of the Feast of Christmas but now mostly rot as lubricating nostalgic fodder of commercial Saturnalia.

My favorite Christmases were with my 2nd husband's family -- they were experts at Advent, hiding from their own selves the signs of Christmas -- their Christmas Tree was bought stealthily and late and then hidden behind their garage. We would go to midnite mass on the 24th, beginning with celebrating the last half hour of Advent (wonderful) and then shift gears with a Magical Enormous Emotional Burst of "Hark the Herald" bells kisses communion rush home and set up tree and cook and feast at 3 AM and sing and off to bed at dawn. The youngsters were utterly bewildered and overwhelmed and the adults often achieved Dickensian Good Cheer.

Stockings filled with amazing yummies and 2 or 3 exquisite small small small presents greeted the children when they awoke near noon on the 25th.

Then we had 12 Days of Christmas feasting and celebrating AND the economic world (half off everything!) was aligned to our joy.

My friends and relatives still know not to expect presents from me until the latter end of the 12 Days, especially the Epiphany (January 6) which is still the "Big Day" in much of Europe, including Spain.

I mostly avoid Saturnalia until I can incorporate it (which was probably the original reason for the date of xmas anyways!) with the 12 days.

As a way of signing off suitably irascibly, meet a dear friend of mine, Krampus, the anti-Santa Claus. The Grinch is a dim-witted spinoff of Krampus.

For now I am relishing fall gardening and sunsets and bicycling.

david fb
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