Thursday, December 22, 2005

Metro Council "Christmas" Party To Fall in January

I just finished reading John Spragens's piece in this week's Nashville Scene on the Council's gyrations and jeremiads on Christmas against a background of Sammy Davis, Jr.'s (who was Jewish) version of The Christmas Song, which ends with the line,
Although it's been said many times, many ways, "Merry Christmas to you. Happy holidays, everyone."
Aside from savoring the irony of my background music, I gather that Spragens is trying to show the confusion that has resulted from the various names picked for the party Metro Council holds each year around about this time to celebrate the season:
When Jewish Vice Mayor Ronnie Steine was hosting, it was a holiday party. Then, the ever-inoffensive [current Vice Mayor, Howard] Gentry took over, and things got innovative. Two years ago, the event was billed, awkwardly enough, as a “Holiday Council Christmas Party.” The next year, it was a “holiday party” at the Adventure Science Center. This year, it was to be the Council Christmas Party. Unfortunately, it’s been postponed until January 2006. Does New Year’s offend anyone?
Ostensibly, Spragens may be right to put the derangement of having a "Council Christmas Party" after New Years.

But hold on a minute. Those Christians with a profound sense of tradition already know of the 12 days of Christmas. One or two local bloggers understand it. According to the Christian Liturgical Year, there are 12 days of Christian peace and good will that extend to January 5, which is traditionally a day of feasting. That's the day all decorations come down at my house. If the "Council Christmas Party" is held on or before January 5, there is no contradiction in having a Christmas Party in January. If it is held after Epiphany, however, it would be in bad taste, and not in keeping with Council member Eric Crafton's wish to keep Christmas pure from any taint.

There is always a slim chance that the Council members understand the 12 days of Christmas. But my guess is that the 22 co-sponsors of the resolution that saved Christmas on Tuesday night wouldn't know a liturgical year from the hole in the ground at Riverfront Park that will be left when the Holiday Christmas Tree is uprooted and pulverized to make mulch for the trails at Radnor Lake.

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