New Harmony: A cure for the Christmas blahs

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 25 2013 5:00 a.m. MST

Chances are you’re reading this on Dec. 26, the day after Christmas. And chances are you’re reading it because of the great “holiday lull.” Between Christmas and New Year’s Day, it’s a pretty tame party.

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Chances are you’re reading this on Dec. 26, the day after Christmas.

And chances are you’re reading it because of the great “holiday lull.”

We say we "celebrate” the holidays, but between Christmas and New Year’s Day, it’s a pretty tame party. The singing is over. You can’t even sing those great winter songs such as “Let It Snow,” “Sleigh Ride” and “Winter Wonderland,” even though they have nothing to do with Christmas. And that lavish feast is now just leftovers.

It’s a week without wonder.

Businesses and offices are half-staffed. Phone calls go unanswered.

We need a boost.

And here’s how I propose we get one.

As Latin America's influence grows in the United States, we should consider adopting the tradition of celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas — the 12 days between Dec. 25 and Jan. 6, the day some people believe the wise men showed up.

South of the border, it is the wise men, not Santa, who deliver the gifts. And they deliver them on Epiphany, Jan. 6.

That would give us a chance to savor Christmas feelings of joy, peace and goodwill for an extra couple of weeks. Who knows? After 12 days, they may even become habit-forming.

Of course, Mexico and other countries to the south are fighting their own cultural battles. The influence of the American way is so strong there that Santa Claus (or Papa Noel) is slowly taking over. Nations that have celebrated the 12 Days of Christmas for centuries are now having to fight the holiday blahs after Dec. 25 along with all the rest of us.

The other problem, as I see it, is the cash register.

If we added 12 days of holiday here, would people hold on to the Christmas spirit for 12 more days, or would it all turn into two more weeks of giving and getting?

I might give my wife a piece of jewelry for Christmas now, but if we had the 12 Days of Christmas, would I be expected to deliver those “five golden rings”?

Instead of tumbling out of bed one day a year to claim their spoils, would kids expect a deluge of gifts for 12 days running?

Would we get a commercialized Christmas times 12?

It would be a real possibility.

So, at this point, perhaps the best we can hope is what journalist and wordsmith Eric Sevareid once suggested.

No matter how commercial and even crass Christmas may become, Sevareid said, “As long as we know in our hearts what Christmas ought to be, Christmas is.”

That may be the best we can do.

If we ever lose that, however, I’m afraid a real holiday lull would take us over.

Email: jerjohn@deseretnews.com

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