Chinese Sword Dance. Vintage postcard. Source: Author’s personal collection.
That Special Time of Year
It must be that time of year again. December is the season in which Disney unleashes a new Star Wars movie on an eager public, complete with a weaponized marketing campaign. Sitting in the sacred dark, viewers are transported backwards to a realm of childhood heroes. There is also the small matter of Christmas. If New Years looks towards a hopeful future, Christmas is marked with the experience of nostalgia in a way that no other holiday can hope to match.
Nor do we all experience nostalgia in the same way. Some individuals derive a sense of comfort from these longings, whereas for others the memory of the past can be painful (a sensation that is more in keeping with the term’s original definition).* Very few people have strong feelings about President’s Day or Labor Day. …
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