12/25/2005: It's a special Christmas.... my favorite kind....
i.e., one of those years where Christmas falls on a Sunday.
That's because I was raised Catholic. For Catholics, Christmas is one of the "holy days of obligation", on which the faithful are required to attend Mass regardless of what day of the week the day falls on. Growing up, I hated having to go to church on Sunday, and I never particularly liked it when a holy day required me to go during the week (however, at least when I was attending Catholic school we got holy days off, which mitigated it a bit). I really hated it when a holy day fell on Saturday or Monday--having to attend Mass two days in a row was pure torture (I note that, at least according to Wikipedia in the U.S. the Catholic bishops have eased up on that obligation for the holy days of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God (January 1), the Feast of the Assumption (August 15), and All Saints Day (November 1)--for these days, if the holy day falls on Saturday or Monday the duty to attend Mass is abrogated. That's still not true for Christmas, however).
But when Christmas falls on a Sunday? Great! Only one Mass to attend. It still sucked, but not as bad as having to attend two Masses on consecutive days (thank what powers that be that even the pre-Vatican II Church wasn't so sadistic as to require you to attend two Masses that day).
Anyway, for our Catholic friends, enjoy your two-for-one Christmas special. ;-) For the rest of you--if you're a Christmas celebrant, Merry Christmas. For our Jewish friends, have a happy Hanukkah (for you Gentiles: Hanukkah starts tonight at sunset). To those of you that celebrate Kwanzaa, enjoy that holiday starting tomorrow. And for the rest of you, Happy Holidays. Drive safely, drink safely, and do them on different days.
Len on 12.25.05 @ 11:33 AM CST