Xmas falls this year on 12/25. Actually, every year it is on that date. This year, due to the coronavirus, things are different. Family Thanksgiving dinners did not occur. I believe that after the vaccine is finalized, distributed, and administered, which will take months, you will see large family gatherings and other events to make up for missed opportunity. We Jews have not postponed Passover or Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur. But the observance of these days has been markedly different. On Passover, instead of gathering in our homes with large numbers of people, we zoomed. On Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, instead of gathering in our synagogues, we live streamed. Easter last year was different for Christians and Catholics to be sure.
Now, for me, Christmas has always been little more than a day off from work. My grandparents were married on Christmas in Vienna, because it was a day off from work for everyone, so it was convenient in that regard. So, as a kid, we gathered at home on Christmas every year to celebrate my grandparents' anniversary. Back in 1968, we had a big gathering to celebrate their 50th anniversary.
My proposal is that Christmas be postponed this year until June 25th. Hopefully, by then, large numbers of people will have been vaccinated. And, if not, we can take a page out of the NFL playbook and move Christmas to August 1.
But, you say, how can you celebrate Christmas when it is warm outside? Well, that’s what they do in the Southern Hemisphere. They manage.
Jews use a lunar calendar to set their holidays. Jews have a periodic leap month, which occurs in the 3rd, 6th, 8th, 11th, 14th, 17th and 19th years of every 19 year cycle so that the holidays stay more or less at the same time of year. So, Rosh Hashanah sometimes is in the earlier part of September, sometimes later in the month. Passover is frequently in March, but sometimes in April, but always in the spring. Christians, following a solar calendar of 365.25 (about) years, have a leap day every fourth year (about) so that the calendar is regularized. But Moslems? They have no leap anything. So, since the lunar year is 354 days, 8 hours, 48 minutes, 34 seconds, they lose around 11 days per year. Thus, their holidays, like Ramadan which requires a fast during daylight hours, can come in the winter, when there is less daylight and thus a shorter fast, or, it can come in the summer when there is a lengthy daylight, and the fast is longer. But, the point is, the Moslems have adjusted to observe their holidays at all different times of year. They seem to do fine with that, though if you ask your friendly Moslem pal, I suppose he prefers Ramadan in the winter.
Think Christmas in June is strange? I would concede that it is. But, is it stranger than a 60 game baseball season, which ends with a spectator less playoff schedule, played in strange places? Is it stranger than the Ravens playing their Thanksgiving night game against the Steelers on the following Wednesday afternoon, thus causing the next game (against Dallas) to be postponed to the next Tuesday? Is it stranger than playing the Masters in November without fans and azaleas? Is it stranger than closing bars at 10PM or not selling the dreaded middle seat on airplanes?
Of course, it is more than a bit obnoxious for me, as a Jewish person, to propose this, particularly since Christmas has no religious or much of any other meaning to me. This would require buy-in from the nation’s Catholic and Christian clergy, even up the food chain to the Pope himself.
But, what would be more 2020, than postponing Christmas until 2021?