Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A Few Christmastide Clarifications

Many people are under the sad misapprehension that Christmas is over; in fact we have yet 10 more days after today until Twelfth Night. If more people understood this, we could both provide hope for procrastinators still working to get out their Christmas cards and offer an opportunity for bargain hunters to take advantage of year-end clearances for their gift-giving.

Today is in fact both Boxing Day throughout the Anglosphere, and the related Feast of St. Stephen the Protomartyr. St. Stephen was one of the first seven deacons of the Christian Church, which is why his day is associated with almsgiving and the support of the less fortunate. This in turn explains why Good King Wenceslas makes such a point of inquiring after the peasant who wanders into his view in his eponymous carol.

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