The Whelm

This Christmas I was whelmed*.

We all know what the overwhelmed means (to be completely overcome in mind or feeling), and we know what the underwhelmed means (to fail to interest or astonish), and this Christmas I was somewhere in the middle.

I tried so hard to get the feeling: I donated to charity. I hugged strangers. I put nuts out for the squirrels… I was still only whelmed.

As I said in my previous post, things have been weird. We just moved back to Canada, and while we are taking full advantage of the free healthcare, paid statutory holidays, flattering knitted sweaters, and abundant apologies… it has still been a little weird.

I have been knee-deep in this adjustment period, and I wasn’t really ready to fully embrace and celebrate Christmas on December 25th.

But now I am.

This could have been a huge problem, obviously – as Christmas is now 360 days away – but then I heard about Orthodox Christmas, which is on January 7th. I don’t know why the Orthodox people celebrate Christmas two weeks after everyone else**, but I’m in!

I want to be completely overwhelmed by Orthodox Christmas – I want to be completely overcome in mind and feeling!

And no, I’m not Orthodox (and I don’t plan on converting), but I’m very willing to adopt a religion’s holiday observances and traditions as my own in order to take full advantage of a celebration***.

Get ready Orthodox Christmas… I’m coming for ya.


* I am aware that the dictionary definition of whelming is to submerge or engulf, but that doesn’t apply here. I’m creating a new definition based on my experience.

** While the month and date of Jesus’ birth are unknown, by the early-to-mid 4th century, the Western Christian Church had placed Christmas on December 25, a date later adopted in the East, although some churches celebrate on the December 25 of the older Julian calendar, which, in the Gregorian calendar, currently corresponds to 7 January, the day after the Western Christian Church celebrates the Epiphany. 

*** I’ll probably start doing this for other religion’s holidays (Tu B’Shevat, Purim, Yom HaShoah, etc.).


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