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Laura Kessel is managing editor of The News-Herald in Willoughby. She writes a weekly column and shares her thoughts here.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Extension of Christmas holiday always welcome

Merry Christmas!

What? You say Christmas was two weeks ago? 

I still say Merry Christmas, because I’m celebrating it today. 

Well, technically, it’s Christmas for my sister-in-law’s family. So, because we’re also family, it’s Christmas for all of us.

Debbie is Ukrainian, and her family marks Russian Christmas, which takes place on Jan. 7. It’s not the same as Epiphany, which takes place on Jan. 6.

The latter is, according to Roman Catholics, a celebration of the arrival of the wise men bearing gifts for the baby Jesus. 

In the Eastern Orthodox faith, Epiphany is a celebration of Jesus’ baptism. 

When you think about these two events, consider for a moment how different they are from our traditions today. 

If Jesus’ birth were to have occurred today, the wise men would have packed their carry-on, booked a flight on Travelocity and arrived within a few hours of the first feeding.

Their gifts? Sterling silver, patchouli and something from the Macy’s fragrance counter that came with a free set of crystal rocks glasses.

The baptism would be on the first Sunday the family could book the good hall for a luncheon afterward.

But having a Christmas this late in the season does have its perks — especially if you’re cheap or if you want to be the hero.

Over the years, my smart relatives have boosted my collection of holiday decorations by admittedly shopping the after-Christmas sales for presents. I won’t deny that I have also. In fact, my gifts to them tonight will include items purchased in May for 80 percent off. 

Don’t knock it. My gifts will cost about $8 per person. Score!

My nephews, on the other hand, aren’t impressed with holiday candle holders or Santa-shaped candy dishes.

Silly young people! They’ll understand when they get older and need a nifty place to stash all that colorful foiled wrapped goodness during the month of December.

But for now, it’s all about XBox and Lego and things that make noise and scatter into a million pieces when they break apart.

In addition to a chance to see all of my husband’s side of the family all in one place, Russian Christmas has turned out to be the last chance for Santa to fulfill the big holiday dream.

A couple of years ago, it was the Peanuts holiday DVD collection that my nephew suddenly decided he wanted just days before Christmas. Other times, it’s been a much-craved video game.

It’s always a kick to see the younger set rip off the wrappings on presents they figured they just weren’t good enough to get.

But, here’s proof Santa celebrates Russian Christmas, too!

I won’t tell you what they’ll be ripping open tonight, in case they figure out that my column is available on the Internet.

But while you’re sitting at home watching reruns or infomercials, I’ll be digging in to my holiday feast.

Jealous, aren’t you? 

Well, Merry Christmas to you, too!
Twitter: @Lauranh


Anonymous John said...

Haha, I like your style Laura. I find humor in your holiday writing. Even though this was a year ago, these antics still hold true a year later, and many more to come I'm sure!

December 13, 2012 at 9:19 AM 

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