by Bob Sparrow
Yes, Betwixmas is a word . . . sort of – it’s the term used for the six days between Christmas and New Year’s Day – and we are now in it up to our masks. There are names for two of these six days that bookend Betwixmas; at the beginning, December 26 is ‘Boxing Day’, which is not celebrated in America, but mostly in England and its former Commonwealth satellites (Canada/Australia/New Zealand/Hong Kong). It started out as a day to honor servants and those less fortunate by giving them a ‘box’ of something of value. It then morphed into a shopping holiday (apparently, they said, ‘screw the servants’) where one would take back the ‘boxes’ of whatever they got for Christmas and exchange them for a box of something they really wanted (Maybe we do celebrate it here in America after all). At the other end of Betwixmas is, of course, New Year’s Eve; never before will so many people really mean it when they say “Happy New Year”!!! But those four days in between, particularly this year, will drive you crazy enough to actually try to eat your grandma’s brick-hard fruitcake that you got again this Christmas.
Betweixmas is a time when we really don’t know what day it is, who you are or what you’re really supposed to be doing. There is no school and no one is really working. If someone goes into the office during Betwixmas, it’s not to work, it’s just to get away from the spouse and/or kids, that have been driving them crazy since the Covid outbreak.
Paradoxically, the shortest day of the year was just last Monday, so the days should seem to just fly by, but no, these days drag on and makes Betwixmas seem interminable. Typically, it’s the time to relax after the Christmas ‘rush’ and get ready to usher in a new year, a different year, anything but what we’ve been experiencing, so this Betwixmas drags on even more than normal.
The result of these shiftless days are things like creating New Year’s resolutions that are unrealistic and completely unattainable. To wit: you’re probably going to be a little heavier by this time next year. That home gym that you built this year will go mostly unused next year. You’re not going to be a better person next year, you’re going to be about the same, and you’re going to be no more organized next year than you are this year.
Usually, the novelty of the kids being home during Christmas vacation calls for some family activity – heading to the mountains to frolic in the snow, visiting Disneyland or if you’re a fan, going to a college football bowl game. But there’s no snow in the local mountains, Disneyland is closed and the general public is not allowed to attend a college football game. We are doomed to spend Betwixmas just like we’ve spent the last nine months – in house arrest.
So, one would think that this would have been a good time for a blog that’s really entertaining; a missive filled with little-known facts of interest that would take your mind off the tedium of the times. But no, it’s a match for the times.