The liminal space between Christmas and New Year is such a strange thing to live through each year, especially for one who cares little for the latter holiday such as myself. Things slow down around you, as people pause to take stock of things and consider what lies ahead — even if that simply means making a list of upcoming social possibilities.
For me, this week is always one where I feel unmoored in time. This year, that’s been especially true, for some reason: I’ve been convinced that I’m a day later than the truth since Monday, for some mysterious reason; thinking back to days that quite literally don’t exist as I try to make mental notes and maps of when I am and how I got there. Can you believe it’s Wednesday already? I think to myself on Tuesday, simultaneously astonished at how quickly and slowly time seems to be passing, while utterly incorrect about just where I actually am on that particular journey.
Part of it stems from the fact that neither Christmas Eve nor Christmas Day feel like specific days, especially this year — they’re somehow separate from the week and just exist as happy monoliths outside of regular time. Even on Christmas Eve this year, I was remarking on the fact that it felt like the official Big Day already: I’d talked to my family in Scotland and spent the day surrounded by my family here, full of cheer and love. Wasn’t that what Christmas is all about…? By the time December 25th rolled around with gifts in tow, I felt something akin to seasonal deja vu.
Not for the first time, I find myself pondering the Advent Calendar and wishing it was something we could continue and adapt for the entire year. Not just adopting a regular calendar, but making a daily event where establishing the day and date for all becomes an event in and of itself. Say what you like about the tradition, but at least an Advent Calendar leaves little doubt about where you are in December each year. Well, until the week between Christmas and New Year, of course.