I'm going to throw a few more words at Christmas.
It ends tonight for me. Epiphany was yesterday, and I like to keep my cyber-decorations and music up until the sanctified end. Also, there are some persons of my acquaintance who are Orthodox, and their Christmas is in January 7th, so I leave them up another 24 hours because, why not?
The tree and the decorations in the house may or may not have made it that long, the cookies may have long since been digested, the work week has long since resumed, but I can do what I wish with my digital address, and I choose this way.
There is some anxiety to what happens after the festive season disappears. Some people I've talked to consider the holiday a series of obligations, and a rush to fulfill them all. They are glad to just have the whole thing over with. Some years, as a musician at Christmas, I could understand that.
It's still unfortunate, though, and says something about the nature of our celebrating. Like, maybe we aren't doing it right? Too much work, too little reflection, too much cynicism, that sort of thing? Too much gulping, not enough chewing?
When the decorations are gone the place usually looks bare. And then we have the Narnia effect, which is what happens when you have to face a world that is cold, and dark, and overcast, and often brutal, and there are no lights and songs and cookies. That's a world in which it seems like it is "always winter, and never Christmas." I've often said that I which Christmas would come later, more in the middle of winter, for that reason. But as society rushes things more and more, it just gets earlier. The carols and the lights go up before there is a need in the northern hemisphere to even light your way.
But the way we treat the holiday itself reminds me of a piano teacher who reminded me (as all teachers remind their young students) that once I'd crescendoed to the climax, not to come off it too early. Stay there, I was told. You worked hard to get there. Revel in it for a moment. Don't just evaporate right away.
So I've been spending some time on top of that seasonal mountain we've all been trying to get to for so long. The difficult part is over. Sit and soak. Look at the tree. Enjoy some more cocoa. Ponder.
Eventually, though, it is time to move on. And that time is tonight.
this means you have a few more hours to listen to the Christmastide program on PianonoiseRadio. I'll take it down around 10 p.m., after I get home from the organist's guild post-Christmas party. If you missed it, there will be a pleasant hour of piano music in its place for January.