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December 27, 2008

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barbara snyder

I think not. Immediately following Christmas, we have St. Stephen's Day - a man stoned to death for following Christ. Then, it's St. John Evangelist, and then Holy Innocents - young boys slaughtered in place of Jesus. That's wallowing?

The secular culture is the group doing the wallowing, BTW; I saw my first Radio City Christmas show before Halloween this year.

Advent is mostly about the Second Coming; it's about the Four Last Things.

barbara snyder

(Sorry, meant to say "the Four Last Things: Death, Judgement, Heaven and Hell." Take a close look at the readings sometime.

Anyway, Advent at one time was a period of fasting that started after St. Martin's Day in early November. It was an imitation of Lent, actually; it has nothing really to do with Christmas Day or the Christmas season.)

barbara snyder

(Oops - meant to say, "I saw my first Radio City Christmas show commercial before Halloween this year...."

Really, the secular "Christmas" season lasts for at least a month and a half before the actual day nowadays; no wonder everybody's sick of the holiday by that time. We only take 12 days, far less time.

But in fact, the secular world does take the week off following Christmas, anyway; I know of 3 companies who closed down completely this year to save money, because there's no business during the week between Christmas Day and New Year's Day, and it wasn't worth staying open. Their employees were forced to take the week off, like it or not.

And of course, it's completely normal for families to take a couple of weeks of downtime together after the birth of a child. So it's even an ordinary thing to do, culturally and perhaps biologically, to take this kind of holiday.)

Artsy Honker

A lot of people I know, Christian or not, spend the Advent period very busy preparing for the celebrations of Christmas, and then the quieter time between Christmas and 1st or 6th January as more reflective and decisive time. Certainly this is when many are looking at last year's resolutions and making new ones for the year to come, whereas most of the rest of the year such issues are forgotten in favour of day-to-day tasks.

I don't know whether extended liturgical celebration of Christmas makes this contemplation and reflection easier or harder, but I don't see it happening much during Advent.

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