A special tradition goes back to childhood when my sister and I could barely endure the endless wait until Christmas each year.
One of us-- we'll never know who, although it may have been me because I'm the elder sibling--crafted a way to make Christmas seem a little closer one fateful year... even though it was an interminable four days away. (Just what year is a fact lost in the mists of time).
The day after tomorrow is the day before Christmas Eve! Suddenly, it seemed we could make it.
Regardless of who came up with it, it's a clever little mantra-- and an effective psychological tool. Eventually we fell into the tradition of repeating this optimistic bit of wit on the day when this was true, and it helped the overwhelming excitement of Christmas feel within reach.
Who among adults can forget just how long a single day always felt during childhood? It was always an eternity.
Somewhere along the road from childhood to adulthood, this evolved into a friendly contest between the two of us, seeing who would remember this tradition in any given year, and be the first to contact the other on the correct day-- not earlier or later--and make the infamous announcement. The winner would gloat, and the loser would groan.
Conducting and evaluating the winning of this contest has become more nuanced in recent years due to options such as email, and humane concerns about calling too early. As committed as I am to winning, I am loath to call my sister at midnight when she has to get up so early for her job.
This year I began planning earlier than usual. It occured to me that a time-stamped blog post would be an accurate way to win with built-in validation. So elegant.
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If she sends me an email at the same time, we'll have to call it a draw... although I doubt if she'll cover her bases like I will with two Twitter posts (one tweet to each account); a blog post (just one to my primary blog should suffice); an announcement on the home page of my website; a Facebook update, and; an announcement at my most active Yahoo group. If my mobile phone had a text account, I would have done that, too.
Some years I win, some years she wins. Lately the winds (wins) have shifted in my favor. Yes, I'm committed.
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And so, because it is just now the first seconds of the new day here in California:
The day after tomorrow is the day before Christmas Eve.
photo: Puerta Vallarta, 2006