Like it or not, we are approaching the end of another calendar year. This means the usual end-of-year events of Christmas and New Year and a few days holidays from work. We look forward to the break sometimes for all sorts of reasons. Things change, and another year ticks over.
There is no doubt that Christmas and New Years’ is strongly imbued with a sense of story. I’ve said before that us human beings are narrative creatures. And in simpler times, we learned about our world by telling each other stories. The many rich and varied traditions we have at this time of year are pretty much all found in history.
However, I’m not going to bore you with citing what Christmas traditions came from where. Or what ones have been distorted or co-opted or merely don’t make sense for a hot climate, such as Australia. That’s not my point. Because you will always have people in your life you do things “because we’ve always done them that way” right up to the point where you suddenly don’t. My point instead is that a major nearly world-wide celebration is a milestone or a marker-point in your life. Sure it rolls around every year, but you’d miss it if it didn’t next year.
For many years, Christmas day for me for meant presents/breakfast/church (in one order or another) and then either lunch or dinner with my father’s relatives. And most of the time Boxing Day meant a picnic somewhere with Mum’s family. It was a tradition. It was our tradition. We used it to tell a story to ourselves of another year was nearly over.
Of course, as the years go on, children grow up and the extended family changes. The mad dash for presents becomes more laid back until breakfast is now eaten first, for instance. The story changes.
What is your Christmas story?