Wednesday, December 23, 2009

How Long Should We Be Celebrating Christmas?

Given the increasingly commercialized nature of contemporary Christmas Season celebrations, should there be a limit on how long we celebrate the Yuletide Season?

By: Ringo Bones

It is indeed the season for joy and giving, even though there are 365 or so other days that you can express those two requisites of ones “humanity”, but should there be an established duration on how long should we be celebrating Christmas? After all, if one grows increasingly jaded over the joy and giving that marks the Yuletide Season, there would be nothing left except kitschy commercialism.

During years of unbridled economic prosperity, the “signs” of Christmas – usually characterized by a seemingly endless supply of Yuletide kitsch – usually starts in the “ber” months like September. Maybe we should point the finger of blame on John Cougar Mellencamp for playing his iconic I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus during his September tour dates back in the late 1980s. Though I doubt if I will ever be welcomed again in our local musical instrument store who plays Yuletide tunes live for the flimsiest excuses. But does your concept / ideology of how long should Christmas be celebrated reflects your deeply cherished beliefs?

The Haight Ashbury Secular Humanist “Christian” types – I probably fell in this category, after recently succumbing into the belief that Santa Claus originates in Kyrgyzstan – and probably Muslim. And given the chance, would celebrate Christmas from September through to the end of January of next year. Although, I tend to end my Christmas celebration after the Eastern Christian Orthodox Christmas festivities end – usually the first Monday after the first Saturday of January.

The unabashed White Anglo-Saxon Protestant types – these folks usually “criticize” folks that celebrate Christmas too early – i.e. before Thanksgiving is over, or too late – i.e. folks that still has Christmas decorations set up after Boxing Day. They tend not to play Christmas music before Thanksgiving is over and will never play Yuletide tunes by December 26 onwards. It’s just hard to Just Say Noël to these people.

The Cultural Eclecticists – they often come from a mixed-faith marriage, like between a Protestant and a Jew. Often places an ornate Star of David atop their Christmas Tree while keeping their celebratory Christmas evening meals Kosher. As far as I know – basing on the ones that invite me during Christmas – they tend to celebrate Christmas from the start of December till the Eastern Orthodox Christmas festivities end – usually the first Monday after the first Saturday of January.

So there you have it, ways on how long folks of various ethnicity that I know of celebrate Christmas. I just hope that this coming 2010 will be a fiscally lavish year so that everyone who still cares can celebrate Christmas from September through February of the incoming year. Probably due to us smart shoppers who do the bulk of our Christmas shopping during the promo sale months of July and August. Just remember to buy only ethically produced products and only have ethically provided services. All of which is a whole lot better than “inventing” ones very own holiday, like that Seinfeld episode where Frank Costanza, George Costanza’s father, invented “Festivus” – i.e. Festivus for the rest of us - after getting left out of the mass commercialism of contemporary traditional Christmas.


May Anne said...

Looks like Festivus - the secular, non-denominational holiday invented by George Costanza's father, Frank Costanza celebrated every 23rd of December by Seinfeld fans - will probably enrich the Yuletide Season even more. With my Jewish pals celebrting Chanuka, Frank Costanza's Festivus Pole might become a Holiday Staple if Madison Avenue marketing men can capitalize on this. Just as the Muslim Santa Claus influenced by Ibn Battuta and lives in Kyrgyzstan.

Ringo said...

I think it is of paramount importance that there should be cultural diversity during the Yuletide Season. With Eid Al Adha "sometimes" falling during the Christmas Season, add to that Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and more recently Festivus. Its good to have more reasons to be charitable this "recession plagued" Yuletide Season.

VaneSSa said...

I think as long as there is still snow - which might extend to April in some parts of the world. Or maybe just after Thanksgiving and the Monday after the Christian Orthodox Christmas is probably the best compromise.
On the celebration of Festivus, this non-denominational holiday originates from writer Dan O'Keffe whose son - a screenwriter for the TV show Seinfeld - shoehorned the idea to the iconic TV show as their "politically correct" stab at Christmas.

Sherry Rashad said...

You better watch out guys, there is already a Klingon Santa Claus being interviewed by Denise Crosby in the Trekkies documentary. With Klingons celebrating Christmas, the Yuletide Season is now more diverse than ever.

Ringo said...

Sadly, the Klingon Santa Claus is probably another Yuletide Season celebration concept that have not managed to fully catch on - yet. Still only a few Star Trek fans know about that German Star Trek fan who dressed up as a Klingon Santa Claus being interviewed by Denise Crosby in the Trekkies 2 documentary.

Sherry said...

Singapore certainly qualifies as one of the countries who celebrate Christmas the longest. Singapore's Orchard Street Christmas decoration set-up lasts from October to January and on average, planning on how to set-up the year's Christmas decorations on Orchard Street starts as early as June.