It is the current trend that most families split Christmas to accommodate families, in-laws, grandparents, and various traditions. Christmas can drag out for days. This can be good and bad. For me, this was never really a problem. Although my parents were divorced and I was subject to the determination of the courts as to how and where I would wake up on Christmas morning, this only lasted a few years and then it was me and my mom. I never really had to move Christmas. Every (give or take) December 25th, I woke up to Christmas breakfast and presents with the rest of the world.
Or what I thought was the rest of the world. Now that I am a divorced mom, I find myself wondering how many people had to move Christmas. For the first time in my life I woke up on December 25th to no Christmas presents under the tree, no annual traditions awaiting fulfillment. It was just another morning to me. Now don’t get me wrong! I love Christmas! It’s my favorite holiday by far. And I’m going to have Christmas, thank you very much. Tomorrow.
It turns out that custody on Christmas fell just perfectly to fall in line with my ex’s visitation schedule. He picked her up on Christmas Eve and she woke up on her dad’s house. I don’t begrudge him the opportunity to see that. And for me losing Christmas morning ON Chrismas morning is the cost of my freedom via divorce. So I moved Christmas.
As I write this, Abigail is in bed. I have a few gifts awaiting my building prowess. It is the 26th of December and it is my Christmas Eve. I struggled with this concept for a while. I mean Christmas is December 25th and, logic and goodwill be damned, it’s not fair that I have to give up every other year because its the right thing to do for my daughter. Even the best moms have their selfish moments.
But I was then reminded why Christmas is when it is. It is a nominally arbitrary placement. Of course there is symbolism inherent in its timing but symbolism can be evoked from anything if you are creative enough. Christmas is on December 25th because of Winter Solstice. (Yes, I know Winter Solstice is December 21st, but I’ll cut the old dead guys some slack.) Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year. Nights after that get shorter and shorter. Christmas, or the celebration of Christ’s birth, was placed on this day (Ok near this day) as a representation of the light of Christ coming into the world and lighting the darkness. Cool, right?
Well, I figure that some dude (likely Emperor Constantine) decided when Christmas will be. So I can too. The important thing here is that my daughter and I celebrate together at some point. And we will do it tomorrow. So Merry Christmas to all! And to all a Good Night.