Today the Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of the Epiphany. People of Spanish ancestry call it El dia de Reyes (Three King’s Day), and when I was a little kid in Puerto Rico we used to get presents on Christmas Day and on Three King’s Day, which was a pretty good deal. My son gets presents on both days, too.
The English used to celebrate the Epiphany. Shakespeare himself wrote Twelfth Night for Queen Elizabeth’s celebration. Jane Austen wrote about going to dances on the evening. It wasn’t until late Victorian times that the emphasis shifted to Christmas.
Considering how retailers start the Christmas merchandising season in October, I’m rather surprised that they don’t extend it until January 6. However, standard accounting practices require a year’s end inventory, so we can get to purchase our Three King’s Day gifts on sale, rather than at regular price.
Thank goodness for that.
I went to Banana Republic yesterday to check out the sales (but not because of Three King’s Day). BR is one of the few stores whose regular sizes fit me without alterations (except for the slacks). Most other stores’ sizes are made for women three or four inches shorter than I. Shirts sleeves are too short, and torso lengths are way too high, but most of BR’s are the right proportion. However, even at Banana Republic the slacks are too short, so I usually try their regular size at the store and order the tall size on line. Yesterday I also brought along my son (who hates shopping, of course) to see if they had jeans on sale in his size (they didn’t have any men’s jeans on sale).
While my son wore an expression of tired resignation, I found this shirt on sale for $15 (on line it’s $30) in red, and a jacket. The shirt fits perfectly right off the rack, and so does the jacket.
I’m wearing them today to celebrate Three Kings’ Day.
Happy Three King’s Day to all of you!
Francis Porretto writes about Zoroastrianism, and the Feast of the Epiphany,
The Magi of the Incarnation story were three esteemed nobles of Persia, wealthy in gold, wisdom, and the admiration of their societies. In contrast to the pattern prevalent among the nobilities of later times, these three, whose names have come down to us as Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, were deeply religious men whose involvement in the investigation of the Zoroastrian prophecies was sincere. When they spied the famous “star in the east” — quite possibly a nova in Draco now known to have occurred at about that time — they resolved to follow its trail, to find the divine infant and pay him homage.
A month ago I mentioned that I strongly believe that if a married couple has children under the age of 18, I am against divorce except in cases of abuse.
Considering the high number of divorces nowadays, I expected to receive feedback from people who thought the opposite – that children are better off with divorced parents.
That was not the case at all.
I received a dozen or so emails from people who agree with me. I’ve been corresponding with several of them, and, while I won’t publish their emails, their feeling is that grownups who can remain civilized to each other in non-abusive marriages for the sake of the children are doing the right thing. Once the children are adults then most of my correspondents (except for one who doesn’t believe in divorce at all) see no reason not to divorce.
This week’s Wall Street Journal’s 5-best books are on marriage, selected by Edward Mendelson:
I concur with their opinion of The Prime Minister,
The fifth and best of Anthony Trollope’s six “Palliser” novels is also his subtlest portrait of a marriage. Plantagenet Palliser and his wife, Lady Glencora, who have recently become the Duke and Duchess of Omnium, never resolve the conflict between her unscrupulous ambition and his belief that their marriage so thoroughly unites them that her actions are also his own, even if he disapproves of them. Without making any final judgments, Trollope explores the ways in which a marriage is not just a relation between two persons but also a relation between the married couple and the world around them.
Trollope is a superb author, and this is one of his best.
Twenty-five years ago Alan Bates starred in an adaptation of The Return of the Soldier. As always, he was wonderful.
After all the holiday excitement, it’s time for a sporty pair of shoes: The Privo Women’s Oso Skimmer in gold.
Not only is it Three King’s Day, it’s also time for Pat’s Carnival of the Insanities.