Monday, December 04, 2006

Christmas in Oklahoma

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 the lights go out again 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 !

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