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f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

December 21, 2008

let’s move Christmas to May

Filed under: Haiga or Haibun,q.s. quickies,Schenectady Synecdoche — David Giacalone @ 11:41 am


Christmas Eve
in an airport lounge
grandpa paces

poem: by dagosan; photo by Arthur Giacalone

This kind of headline is never really news at Christmas Time in America:

Fierce Northwest storm adds to nation’s numerous weather worries as holiday approaches” (Associated Press, December 21, 2008)

As is all too much a part of our nation’s holiday tradition, tens of millions of Americans are facing harsh and dangerous weather conditions this week, while rushing to create joyous Christmas celebrations and reunions for their families and loved ones.  We never know when or how the weather will turn our plans upside down, nor who will spend Christmas Eve in an airport lounge or roadside ditch.

We noted this time last year, in our post “Christmas and Winter Don’t Mix“, that:

It looks like a Winter Wonderland, but it has me wondering yet again why we jeopardize our physical and psychic health every year trying to perform an already-stressfully-long list of holiday chores — and accomplish the related travel — in the time of year that is most likely to have the most inhospitable weather.

It’s quite clear that the historical figure Jesus of Nazareth was not born at this time of year (see our prior post).  Christmas was placed around the Winter Solstice (click for related haiku and discussion) to make Christianity more popular by piggy-backing on the traditional pagan solstice celebration.  That’s simply not a good enough reason for subjecting the nation (and all its grandmas) to the vagaries and worries of winter in North America.

where I sat as a child
I wait out the storm

……….. by Hilary Tann, in Holiday Haiku from Schenectady; orig. pub. in Upstate Dim Sum (2004/I)

Prof. Yabut opined last year:

We need to get over [the childish desire to have snow on the ground for Christmas] — if only to help assure that as many of our loved ones as possible can travel in safety and with some assurance that they will arrive and depart when planned. As a bonus, we wouldn’t have to dig our cars out, before heading (in bulky, hot clothing unsuitable for indoor shopping), on treacherous roads with ineffective defrosters, to mall parking lots cluttered with space-stealing snow banks, in order to buy and return Christmas presents.

In this season of hope, as we usher in a political era of hope and practicality, the f/k/a Gang implores President-elect Barack Obama to get behind a campaign to move Christmas to a more reasonable time of year.

The Saturday before Mother’s Day might be a good substitute, since we already focus on motherhood and familial love and sacrifice (rather than gifts and greed) that weekend.

The new date might just allow us to put the loving spirit-of-Christ back into Christmas, and to shake off the commercial excess symbolized by Santa Claus.

Given our current economic woes, this might be a particularly good year to celebrate Christmas in the Spring.  It will bring a well-needed economic stimulus early in 2009, while leaving the option open for another buying spree in December around the optional old-timey feast of Giftmas.

snow emergency
santa’s running
a little late

poem: by dagosan; photo by Arthur Giacalone

Meanwhile, we wish all of our readers, kith and kin, safe travels and smooth itineraries, as they work to re-unite with their families in the face of Mother Nature’s whims.

If you’re sitting home waiting for delayed and waylaid guests to arrive, a photo display in today’s Schenectady Sunday Gazette might help to bolster your holiday mood.  It’s “Grand Entrances” (Dec. 21, 2008), which features thirty Stockade doors decorated with wreaths and garland for the holidays.  They are all located in my neighborhood, the Stockade Historic Distric.  The Gazette display inspired me to bundle up and walk up the block with my Canon PowerShot 5, to 32 Washington Avenue, the home of the Schenectady County Historical Society, which somehow did not make it into the Gazette display.  Here it is for your enjoyment:


.. Schenectady County Historical Society, 32 Washington Avenue, Dec. 21, 2008..

Christmas snow
my father’s footsteps
bigger than mine

………………….. by yu chang

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