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Christmas and the shortest day in one week. Good grief!

(38 Posts)
JessM Sun 16-Dec-12 08:39:36

AIBU to feel just a bit fed up at this time of year? I know there are historical reasons why our (male) ancestors invented the yuletide festival. Nothing much to do in the fields, days too short and sleety to go out hunting, definitely closed season for marauding, raping and pillaging. I know lads! Let's put our feet up, have a booze up, crack open the mead, spin a few yarns and the women can spit roast an ox or two.
Christians came along and tried to co-opt it (with mixed success evidently) and then the capitalists who, I'd say, did rather a better job.
But it does seem like cruel and unusual combination for those who don't enjoy Christmas and struggle a bit with the short days.
And instead of a one day event (plus the nights in the case of the women, who doubtless didn't get much sleep with an ox to get roasted and who then had to clear up AND carry on with their normal all-year-round work with drunken men underfoot)
It now lasts two or three weeks.
Good grief Charlie Brown it is a bit much to take. I am envying you folk in the southern hemisphere today - at least you are in the middle of summer!

Bags Sun 16-Dec-12 08:48:11

When the shortest day has passed, i remind myself every day: two minutes more light today (dull days aside! smile). It's a small thing, but I find it helps to know it and to remember it. I'm lucky enough to have a south-east horizon to look at. As the days lengthen, I watch out for the dawnmark's progression further and further round until it gets to the north-east in mid-summer.

Dawnmark = where the sun peeps over the horizon each morning. Made it up from the Scandinavian pre-clock idea of Daymarks.

baubles Sun 16-Dec-12 08:55:26

I keep telling myself that springtime will soon be with us. smile

whenim64 Sun 16-Dec-12 09:10:43

I always anticipate the shortest day with happy thoughts about the arrival of spring. As long as the light starts to get longer each day, it doesn't seem as miserable as the run up to the shortest day, even though there are still weeks to go before lighter nights.

Notsogrand Sun 16-Dec-12 09:15:17

I always sort through my box of veg and flower seeds after the shortest day, and keep reminding myself that the nights are drawing out smile

Movedalot Sun 16-Dec-12 09:36:57

Don't worry about it, the world is going to end on 21st grin

vampirequeen Sun 16-Dec-12 09:46:59

So it's going to be an even shorter day lol

annodomini Sun 16-Dec-12 09:55:01

Bags, I do like your coinage of 'dawnmark'. Let's all use it and try to get it adopted by the OED.

glitabo Sun 16-Dec-12 10:07:34

Notsogrand I like that idea of sorting out flower and veg seeds on the shortest day.

Sook Sun 16-Dec-12 10:19:36

I look forward to the shortest day and for one reason or another it seems to have come around much quicker this year.

Nelliemoser Sun 16-Dec-12 23:34:49

Ah Bags Thats the problem with your northerly Scottish latitudes. Don't forget to take your vitamin D.

Ariadne Mon 17-Dec-12 05:38:26

My friend the white witch always says that, just before an equinox, nature and humans are often in turmoil, then things settle down. Feels somewhat true at the moment.

But it is good to know that the dark days are about to become shorter; no wonder so many religions (especiall in the Northern hemisphere) alike celebrate this time of year with images of light - Modranicht, Yule, Christmas..."a light to lighten the darkness."

Bags Mon 17-Dec-12 05:53:23

Yes, looked at astronomically, it all makes good sense, doesn't it, ariadne?

nelliem, thank you for your concern smile. I'll be careful to keep my vitaminD topped up.

Ariadne Mon 17-Dec-12 05:57:28

Morning, Bags! I was wondering if you were up yet - just finishing the first cup of coffee. smile

baubles Mon 17-Dec-12 06:01:10

Morning all, it's pitch black & raining. We'll be lucky to get any light at all today.

Bags Mon 17-Dec-12 06:15:04

Morning, A and B (and any lurkers!). If it snows, that will make it seem lighter wink. Always look on the bri-ight si-ide of life....!

The loch is dark, which means there's a wind. On still days lights are reflected on it.

Joan Mon 17-Dec-12 06:48:06

JessM I'm in the Southern Hemisphere and was just out in the garden at around 39 c, and suddenly realised the shortest night was almost upon us. Phew - what a relief. It is too damn hot - my veggies are frying in the garden, the air con is full blast (thank goodness for insulation in the ceiling), and the dog can't stop panting.

We tend to stay in, just like we did in the past in England, except here it is to escape the heat not the cold.

And I'm too hot to put the Christmas tree up.

I want some cold weather......

JessM Mon 17-Dec-12 07:06:53

Hi Joan - that is blooming hot! Humid, too, where you are?
Sky is just beginning to lighten here in MK.
One of the things that strikes me is that no other country that I have visited at this time of year make anything like as much fuss as the Brits. No comparison.
(Spain, Ireland, US, Canada, Nz, AUZ)

Joan Mon 17-Dec-12 07:34:20

Not humid - just hot! It is often humid here, but right now we've had little or no rain for weeks.

I'm in Ipswich, in South East Queensland - about 50 k inland from Brisbane. But our little suburb is a sort of heat bowl - it gets so very hot.

The Aussies like a good whinge about the weather, though it is usually about the heat!

JessM Mon 17-Dec-12 08:29:39

Surely not Joan. Aussies? Whinging? I thought us poms had the monopoly on whinging. (the spelling of whinging just does not look right does it... whinging ? whinging?)

annodomini Mon 17-Dec-12 09:26:15

I think that by rights it should have an 'e' after the 'g' to keep it soft. Singeing needs it to keep it distinct from singing. I get a red line under whinging and whingeing which suggests that the dictionary doesn't recognise whinge - ah yes, that gets a red line too.

annodomini Mon 17-Dec-12 09:29:58

PS - Send me straight to Pedants' Corner. wink

Bags Mon 17-Dec-12 09:32:16

Chambers puts an e in whingeing and whingeingly, but apparently you can spell it wheenge as well grin

Joan Mon 17-Dec-12 09:33:11

When Aussies talk of whingeing poms I point out that whinge is an Australian word, rarely heard in Britain. I also point out that POM is an acronym meaning Perfection Of Mankind. When they ask me how I know this, I say it is self evident. At that point they usually realise I'm taking the Mick.

annodomini Mon 17-Dec-12 10:44:21

Thanks, Bags. I must remember 'wheenge'.