Linear Week

John W. Pinkerton

The period of time between Christmas and the new year, to me, is a strange period.  For me, the year has already ended when the last present is opened, yet according to the calendar, there are six days left in the year.

This period of six days is not identified by a name.  These six days coincides with the twelve days of the epiphany, but I’m not speaking of the religious celebration.  I’m talking about the six days leftover in the calendar year after Christmas.  Maybe if it had a name, I’d feel better about it.  But just being there unnamed gives it a creepy feeling.   It’s like a stranger sitting down at the Christmas dinner table.  You assume he’s an uncle of your spouse, and your spouse assumes he’s one of your uncles.  Regardless of whose uncle he is, he stays around for six more days.

Should I try to drag the “uncle” along to play a game of golf, to do some bargain Christmas shopping for next year, take him to a movie, cook great dishes for him or should you take him to work with you,  make him watch you doing your mundane job with tasks repeated over and over.  Perhaps he can help you with the useless task of creating a list of New Year resolutions.

Why must he hang on for six days.  If it were up to me, the New Year would begin the day after Christmas thus eliminating the visit of the unwanted “uncle.”

If we give it a name, maybe it will find a purpose.  I looked around the internet to see if anyone had come up with a satisfactory name.  There were some suggestions but nothing that caught my attention.

One of the problems with choosing a name is that we don’t know if this six days is a period of joy, confusion, or evil.  For me, it’s mainly a period of confusion.

Let’s try a few names.

Linear Week.  Now I know that six days do not make a week, but, a little poetic license seems appropriate here.  “Linear” means “arranged in or extending along a straight or nearly straight line” or “progressing from one state to another in a single series of steps.”

Wow!  I think we nailed it on the first try.

Linear Week, having a nice, appropriate name now, calls out for us to use the week in a productive manner.

I can imagine folks saying, “We’re going to Hawaii during Linear Week,” or, “I’ll be using Linear Week to clean the house this year,” or, “I think I’ll hibernate during Linear Week.”  Be it work or pleasure or something in between, attaching “Linear Week” to it sounds pretty natural.

In an effort to appear modest, I’ll offer some more suggestions. 

Gerascophobia Week:  Being that “gerascophobia” is the fear of growing old seems appropriate for the last few days of another year, but I must admit it’s not very appealing.

Deletion Week: This name implies that we should use the week to erase all of the mistakes of the preceding year.  For some of us, six days is not enough for this task.  Although “Deletion Week” may appeal to computer geeks, it gives the days too narrow a purpose.

Friendship Week: You probably didn’t realize that there is already a Friendship Day.  It’s the first Sunday of August each year.  It’s a day to honor friends; it began in 1935.  You could set aside this week to write letters, emails, send cards, make telephone calls to or visit friends.  Even if they’ve passed on, you could place flowers on their graves.  This sounds like a lovely idea: I think I just threw up a little.  First of all, being that you didn’t even know that there currently is a Friendship Day, I can hardly expect you to celebrate Friendship Week.

No, I think we nailed it with the first suggestion, Linear Week.  It’s not political, it’s not theological, and it doesn’t tell you how to use the week other than “progressing from one state to another in a single series of steps.”

I think it’s brilliant and fully expect statues to be erected in my honor so future generations will know who named these six previously unloved days.

You’re welcome. 


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