Today is June 25. “Half-Christmas” to some fun loving types, myself included. That is to say that today, Christmas Day was six months ago, as well as being six months from now. (Though with it being a Leap Year this year the concept is one day off, technically.) Starting tomorrow, this Christmas will be closer than last Christmas.
I’ve talked about this day before, both on my blogs and on Twitter. Sometimes I will put on one of my Christmas records on this day, or watch old Christmas home movies. That sort of thing.
Removing a concept from its natural habitat can sometimes bring it into greater focus. You expect to hear Christmas music at Christmas time. And for those who celebrate the season, the carols and such serve a wonderful purpose; they enhance the season and put us in the right frame of mind for same. Yet some aspect of them can be lost amid the ocean of holiday trappings. Like a hose turned to full blast inside a swimming pool. You can’t see the water coming out because it is already surrounded by water. To see it, you have to remove it from the pool.
So when we listen to Christmas music on the day that is furthest on the calendar from Christmas Day, we can perhaps more appreciate the songs, stories and movies for what they are at their core. They don’t blend in with the surroundings, but stick out prominently. They take on a degree of novelty for us. And while “Silent Night” is just as ultra-familiar to us in June as it is in December, it actually takes on a small degree of novelty, or even newness when played in June. And if we take it to heart, that novelty we discover can be revisited during the actual season.
You may have deduced by now that this post is not just about Christmas songs in June. The overall point I am making can apply to creative acts and choices we make each day. We can turn something on its ear and see how it looks from a different angle. We can shine a different light on it. Look at it from a few paces away. Instead of listening to a Christmas album in June, perhaps you have dessert first, and then your entree. If your kids have assigned chores, maybe for a few days you have them switch chores. Read your favorite book again in a room of the house you never sit in, and see if it changes how the book makes you feel.
It doesn’t have to be complex. Sticking a CD in the player isn’t difficult, after all. It just needs to take the familiar, the everyday, that which in life has become perhaps a bit monotonous, and tweak it somehow so that it is novel again. Whatever you need to do on occasion to inject meaning into something that may have lost all meaning for you recently. Life is too short to allow everything to become mundane.
So, Merry Christmas to all.
What are some easy ways you can mix things up a bit?