We, too, wait until a few days before Christmas to get our tree, and then take it down at the last possible moment, using the Western calendar.
This has led to some misadventures, like the year when on Christmas Eve I was driving home trying to find a tree. Our plans for a last-minute tree had been waylaid by the sickness of a child, and an unexpected snowstorm. I finally found an ice-covered tree by the side of the road, at an abandoned Christmas tree stand. I knocked on the door of the house but no one answered, so I threw it in the back of the car.
We had to thaw it out, let the ice melt, before we could use it.
I stopped back several times to pay for the tree, but never found anyone home and eventually gave up.
So, that was the year when Daddy stole the Christmas tree…
Indeed, this is the time of the year that I admit some regret: in the Western calendar Christmas lingers until the second Sunday after Christmas, when the Epiphany is celebrated [or by some counts, until the following Sunday, when the Baptism of Christ is celebrated].
In the East, the Wise Men are included in the celebration of the birth of Christ, and the Sunday following is the Feast of the Circumcision [which is probably too earthy for the revised Roman rite] and then the next Sunday is the Theophany [or Baptism of Christ].
It has its own charm: it is the Sunday when holy water is blessed, and people bring their vessels to fill, and not only that, drink the holy water, with some enthusiasm.
Still, I miss the relatively drawn -out celebration of the Christ child, and the separate celebration of the Magi…
Of course, with young children, who early got used to the extra presents on Epiphany, we celebrate according to the Western model [I mean, who wants to communicate to kids that Eastern means fewer presents?
I saw Hostel, it was gruesome but not so scary as the Blair Witch. I was in the Union Station movie house because the one in Chinatown (Washington, DC) was already full. Yes it was kinda gory and some sensuality but you get that on cable tv or direct tv. It was of good winning over evil and friends helping and taking care of each other. Yes there was only one sex scene but that was it. It is an R movie I believe, so they must have a license to kill.
All these big macho guys in back of me were laughing at many scenes and when it got gruesome there was not a sound in the hall, not even a cell phone so the movie must have been good to catch the attention of a generation who have had violent game boy games available since when or before they were born. For a moment I wanted to leave (this 51-year old young kid)and go out to the light just like when I watched Dracula when I was little (6-7 years old). Oh yes and one girl got out when they started using the claw on the survivor. It is entertainment and it was worth the price adsn the time, ’cause I don’t go the movies that often even if I have Chinatown and Union Station right around the corner just one metro station away either way. So it was good and very good, specially the vengeances (good over evil) it filled my expectations.
Thanks, Daniel. We get our trees from a farm that has a big enough stand of candidates at different stages of growth that waiting till a few days before Christmas is no problem. We tried doling out presents every day from the 25th to the 6th one year but it was pretty hard to manage that.
Carlos, I’m glad to hear that the bad guys come to a bad end in Hostel, but you still couldn’t pay me enough to see it, and I just can’t believe there isn’t something sick about something like that being made in the first place.
Yes, I intended to go to a tree farm this year, but we have a fussy baby, who is on top of everything else, teething early [he has six teeth
at six months of age] so my bride could not do much in preparation for Christmas and I ended up running around the last week, trying to pull everything together, which I for the most part pulled off, but it did not leave room for the romantic family outing to the tree farm.
But I didn’t wait until the last minute, having learned my lesson.
After discovering that the lot I had seen driving at night had only scraggly trees in the daylight, I went to a greenhouse in the affluent neighborhoods to the north of where we live.
There I found a beautiful spruce. With a price tag of $72.00[!]
I asked the guy “You can’t be serious; $72.00 for a Christmas tree?!”
“Actually, it is $20.00 off.”
“$52.00 for a Christmas tree?!”
“I could come down a little bit”.
“A little bit?!”
I found a perfectly fine tree for $10.00 at a local chain hardware store.
I know, it was probably raised in China, and the $72 tree was organically raised in Ohio, but I’m sorry, my finances are limited, which means so are my choices…
And I agree completely about “Hostel”; I fear filmmakers throw in some sort of moral endings to these gorefests to assauge the viewers’ conscience.
But would said viewers be watching such films if they were as innocent as, say, “Little House on the Prairie”? I for the life of me don’t understand why someone would subject themselves to such pure evil.
Well, I guess this is an abomination, but we’ve had an artificial tree for years. Three of the six people in this household react terribly to a live tree. It was indeed made in China, but we celebrated a Christmas with no allergic reactions or asthma! BTW, most visitors believe it’s a live tree.