Sunday, December 26, 2010

Second Serving of Celebrations

In my wife's country, Germany, today is Second Christmas, known elsewhere on the European continent as the Feast of St. Stephen (of Good King Wenceslas fame) and in the United Kingdom, it's called Boxing Day (you wondered how a nation of shopkeepers had a world-wide empire upon which the sun never set for a century? Mindsets like Boxing Day, boyo, that's how).

Here in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave we will trudge to the mall to return what we found less than thrilling under the tree, or perhaps we'd prefer it in a different size or style, all of which should be fun today if the weather proves to be as turbulent as advertised for the Northeast.

An ocean away people will devote today to celebrating Christmas again, this time more intimately with friends, perhaps dining out or some other social gathering. The first Christmas, yesterday, is for family while today's expands the circle without losing sight of the focus or the festivities.

As someone who will be exchanging three, no, make it four, sorry-make it five long-sleeve casual shirts for different ones which will involve who knows how much time jostling with, and being jostled by, strangers and those even stranger than strangers, I'll try to remember how we used to spend the day and hope some of that civility and sanity will help me through the day. I won't have that problem with my Bruce Springsteen book (put that in your Kindle and smoke it, Jamie), not only because I like it though that probably helps.

These are, with my apologies to Chuck Dickens pretty close to the worst of times for some of us it seems. As Elissa B's new venture reported earlier this week, just down the block from where our son Patrick used to live, a fellow attempted a daylight robbery of an Indian food restaurant with an iPhone (good that you traded yours for a Blackberry, Sally, though push comes to shove I guess armed robbery might be considered an app). From what I've unearthed, when not defending itself against iPhone wielding felons, the restaurant enjoys rave reviews.

At our pace and in our times, I'm hoping that the idea of a Second Christmas makes the leap across the pond and spreads from sea to shining sea as "I'm so hard to handle, I'm selfish and I'm sad. Oh I wish I had a river I could skate away on." And Currier and Ives are nearing retirement age and working harder than ever to help keep the hue in human.
-bill kenny

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