Yesterday the family celebrated Christmas Adam with my mom. It’s a traditional ceremony for us – one that I invented when I was very young, so a long-standing one at that. Christmas Adam is the day before Christmas Eve. Christian mythology teaches us that Adam came before Eve, though there are no days celebrating that. Incidentally, it’s also another day ou can open a single present. If you’re a family that opens all your gifts on Christmas Eve, this gives you an opportunity to open a single gift and get a taste of what’s to come. These days, we celebrate Christmas Adam with my mom and Christmas Eve/Day with Amy’s parents. Christmas Day is typically just breakfast as we open all our gifts on Christmas Eve.
Of course, it’s actually Yule that rings the truest of all to our family. That gives us yet another day of celebration for the holiday season. This year, Yule (the winter solstice) occurred on the 21st. I anticipate teaching Balthazar the Scandinavian legends surrounding Yule (Jul in Swedish). Stories of the tomte are quite fun and rich with folklore. Santa Clause is referred to as Jultomten in Sweden. Literally, “The Christmas tomte.” There’s your cultural lesson for the year – enjoy your holiday!
Christmas Adam must be an apocryphal story, because it has been passed on now for three generations in my family. It was first told to me by my uncle and aunts, Charlie (9), Espie (7), and Liza (8), in 1951, when I was four years old.
In a child’s world, the coming of Christmas is filled with yearning emotions of anticipation and impatience. Christmas never arrives soon enough. Every day closer to the morning of December 25th is important, and the most special day is Christmas Eve. However, my uncle and aunts believed that the day prior to Christmas Eve was equally important. This was the date for the completion of their nacimento, and the start of the family preparations for the Christmas Eve feast of tamales, enchiladas, pollo con mole, arroz, frijoles, and bunelos. Not only was this day filled with excitement, anticipation, and frenetic action, but they felt it deserved a name as well. So they invented one; Christmas Adam. They also created a viable cover story for the name, which I completely accepted. According to Charlie, Espie, and Liza, Genesis was the source for the terms, Adam and Eve, and their order of invention. Since God created Adam before Eve, it made sense (in a child’s world), to continue that ordered progression in other things. So, the eve to every day, had to have an adam before it. If the day before Christmas was called Christmas Eve, then, the day before Christmas Eve MUST BE called Christmas Adam! This seemed logical to me and my siblings. Charlie, Espie and Liza were older than we were, they were smarter, and they knew everything about Christmas (or at least told us they did). In my family, December 23rd was always called Christmas Adam, and I passed the name and story to my own children, and they use they term today.