Saturday, December 23, 2017

Saturday & Sundry Thoughts on ....well, look at the date!

I spent a while looking back over the Christmas posts of my early blogging years yesterday. My, how the years have flown by! In December 2006, 11 years ago, I wrote:
It's coming up to my third Okie Christmas-time. I no longer feel amazed when I see houses in town bedecked with zillions of lights in the shape of angels, reindeer, Christmas trees, and any other conceivable symbol of this time of year. Some front yards are veritable works of art at night.

Christmas starts earlier here. As soon as the Thanksgiving turkey is off the table, lights are lit for Christmas. Whether they stay lit, or even stay up all year is a matter of culture, as Gretchen Wilson pointed out in her song "Redneck Woman":
"Cause I'm a redneck woman
And I ain't no high class broad
I'm just a product of my raisin'
And I say "hey y'all" and "Yeeee Haw"
And I keep my Christmas lights on, on my front porch all year long
And I know all the words to every Charlie Daniels song"

In most cases those lights go out as soon as Christmas Day is over. In England the Christmas holiday spreads over until New Year's Day for most people, with Boxing Day on 26th December, a special time for many families, and one I always enjoyed - it's totally unknown here. I think the differences in custom stem from the fact that the USA celebrates Thanksgiving quite close to Christmas, so what the British lose then, they make up for on Boxing Day, and try their best to make the holiday stretch to New Year - it'd be a shame not to !

As I wrote in a later Christmas post, Christmases really are akin to those re-makes beloved of movie makers. Nothing major has changed in Okie Christmases some 11 years on from the above. There are still some dramatically lighted houses around - though I do suspect there are rather less of them now than then. Re-makes allow for subtle differences! Perhaps, as children grew up, left home for college, or for employment, remaining family members didn't retain sufficient enthusiasm for the effort of putting up and taking down Christmas lights. Younger, newer families might find the practice too expensive for a limited budget.

Outside of Okie-land, G.W. Bush and Barack Obama have come and gone as Presidents of the USA since Christmas of 2006, leaving us with the disaster that is Donald Trump. What a very unsubtle, not to mention unsuitable, cast change in the re-make that has turned out to be! In the UK in 2006, Brexit was not even a twinkle in a disaffected Brit's eye!

Ah well...
Remakes are always a challenge and they always are sitting ducks.
(Nicolas Cage)

There are a lot of wrong reasons to do a remake, but there are some good ones. I think it's human nature, in many ways, to retell our favorite stories. We do it in the theater, all the time. I've seen four different Hamlets, and every one has given me something different.
(Joel Kinnaman) [I remember him - he was the reason I watched the whole of the TV series "The Killers" twice!]


A Casual Reader said...

Having spent most of my life in deepest, darkest New England, I've always thought that it would be nice to start putting up lights for Xmas and then continue piling and piling them on right through January, February and March until an 'Equinox Law' would require them to disappear overnight. It would sure help with the winter-time blues that lots of people fall prey to - and the power companies, no doubt, would enjoy the higher billing.

I'd imagine that Oklahoma can be just as dreary (but lots flatter!) than NE in the winter, so more and more lights could only be a bonus there.

Happy Solstice, Xmas and Humbug, Twilight. I'll look forward to enjoying your posts in the New Year.

Twilight said...

A Casual Reader ~ Happy Everything to you too! :-) Yes, what a good idea - lighting up the whole of winter-time! I enjoy seeing the Christmas lights here, yes. I used to complain that power was being wasted - environmental concern etc, but what the heck! We are probably past the point of no return now anyway, so a few lights to brighten remaining years ought to be allowed.

Oklahoma has mixed winters, some hardly seem like winter at all, others can be horrendous with ice storms and power outages. This year we've had a bit of both kinds of winter so far: some days very mild and sunny in the 70s, but round about now some icy cold days and nights and a scattering of snow - it has snowed, just a bit and just once, so far this year.

R J Adams said...

A Very Happy Christmas to you and Anyjazz, Twilight. Best wishes to you both from myself and Mrs RJ.

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~ Many thanks RJ - and similar wishes are flying, as I press the appropriate button, across the wild ocean, to you and Mrs RJ.