From Mark Steyn:
” In America, the Christmas holiday is what it says: a holiday to observe Christmas. If it happens to fall on a Saturday or Sunday, tough. See you at work Monday morning. But across the Atlantic, if Christmas and New Year fall on the weekend, the ensuing weeks are eaten up by so many holidays they can’t even come up with names for them. I see from the well-named “Beautiful Ireland” calendar this newspaper sent me in lieu of a handsome bonus for calling the US elections correctly that January 3rd 2005 is a holiday in Ireland and Britain – the Morning After The Morning After Hogmanay – and the lucky Scots get January 4th off too – the First Hogtuesday After Hogmonday? Eventually, the entire Scottish economy will achieve the happy state of their enchanted village of Brigadoon and show up for one day every hundred years.
I’ve spent Christmas on both sides of the pond and, on the whole, I prefer the intensity of the American version – the big build-up, non-stop seasonal favourites on the radio between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, and then at midnight on December 25th, it all stops. No more “Winter Wonderland” or “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree”: the entire sleighlist (as it was called back in my disc-jockey days) turns into a pumpkin, and the party’s over, and December 26th is a perfectly normal working day. Whereas the last Christmas I spent in rural England is as near as I hope I ever get to experiencing my own hostage crisis. “Is it Christmas Bank Holiday Thursday yet?” “No, it’s still Boxing Day.” “