The phrase “fixing the date” has always seemed a bit odd to me, but I’ve always understood its meaning. This year, however, we’re using it in the sense of repairing a mistake. This Christmas season, we’re literally fixing a date.
If you’ve followed this blog much, you know that holidays are very important to us, and that the Christmas season is perhaps the most important of all. Our Christmas holiday, stretching from the day after Thanksgiving to January 6th each year, encompasses a list of major and minor holidays. This list includes one or two we’ve made up ourselves, such as our beloved First View.
The problem with commemorating a private anniversary is that no one else can confirm the date for you.
For 7 years, we have observed First View on December 5th. That was the date we saw on all the photographs we took that day, and when we decided to remember it each year, we accepted the recorded date without thinking. It never occurred to us that the time of day recorded on those photos was incorrect—according to the data on the photos, we took all the photographs of the homestead before we left Juneau . . . .
Some time in the last year I began to question the actual date for some reason, and began trying to figure out whether the 5th was, in fact, the anniversary.
I started with the photographs. It may be that the camera’s time signature was set in UT or some other time zone ahead of Alaska Time. We can’t check—that particular camera has been lost to us, and succeeded by several others in the ensuing years.
I couldn’t check the date in my journal. Although I’ve been a fairly faithful journal keeper since 1991, 2004 was a hard year for us, and I made very few entries in those days. The visit to the homestead is mentioned weeks later, in a summary that explained the big news of the date I recorded in the journal, that we’d made an offer on the property.
Finally, I realized that I could check the date against a calendar. I knew we’d gone up on a Saturday, and December 4th fell on Saturday that year.
Thus, our holiday, 8 years on, must be switched. The date must be fixed to the 4th, not the 5th.
I suspect part of my reason for thinking it was December 5th all along may have something to do with making it fall on the eve of St. Nicholas. That would be convenient, and give the “holiday” a pleasant position in our holiday observances, but it would not be the truth.
I suppose there’s no reason not to keep the 5th as our anniversary date. It wouldn’t be the first event observed on a day that very likely has no relation to the event itself. But, I like to keep facts straight if and when possible.
So now, I’m going back and changing the date on all references to First View in this blog. This year, for the first time, we’ll celebrate the real anniversary. The date will, in fact, be fixed.