Wasn’t it great having Christmas on a Monday this year? Paraphrasing the last line of Van Morison’s song Coney Island from the Avalon Sunset album, “Wouldn’t it be great if it was like this every year?”
For both business and social reasons, making Christmas a Monday holiday makes sense. This year, the week before Christmas was a ‘clean’ full week at work. Other than an afternoon for a ‘Christmas lunch’ on Friday, the only people who missed work were those sneaking out a day or two early on international vacations. (When I heard one was stuck at the snow-bound Denver airport and another at the fog-bound London airport, I could almost hear my long departed Irish grandmother saying……“God punished them.”)
And for those people ‘taking a week off work at Christmas’ it was very clear which days they would actually be out vs., say, a year when Christmas falls mid-week. [That said, an Irish friend complained about the ‘clarity’ of dates this year saying, “When Christmas and New Years fall mid-week, it’s easy to say, ‘It’s so complicated we’ll just take both weeks off. Surely no one will notice.’ But this year, taking the second week off – whether the week before Christmas or the week after New Years – was very much noticed.”]
Socially, having Christmas on a Monday made things relaxed and low key in our house this year. On Friday night, we joined a few friends for a ‘Yankee Swap’ get-together at a neighbor’s house. Saturday was free for last minute errands, though the parking lots and shops were surprisingly empty. Sunday – Christmas Eve – was a wide open, ‘bonus time’ day; we were free to see We Are Marshall, a movie that will help both the sale of Kleenex and the number of applicants to Marshall University.
Wouldn’t it be great if it was like this every year? Wouldn’t it be great if somehow our politicians and church leaders could agree on this change? Regrettably, there’s little hope of that and, regrettably, due to the phenomenon of leap year, it will be eleven years – 2017 – before Christmas falls on a Monday again!