Silver and Gold

When I was a kid, every December I waited anxiously for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer to come on TV. My family had a black and white Zenith. So, I had to take Santa’s word for it when Rudolph’s nose turned red. Since then, I figured I’ve sung “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” over 10,000 times. It’s a job requirement for teaching third graders.

photo by Lennart Guillet

When watching the TV special, my brothers and I each claimed a favorite character. My older brother’s was the Abominable Snowman. My younger brother picked Hermey, the misfit elf. Mine was Yukon Cornelius, the prospector who’d lick the end of his pickaxe while searching for silver and gold.

Silver and gold have special meanings here in Hungary around Christmastime. The Sunday before Christmas is called Arany Vasárnap (Gold Sunday) and Ezüst Vasárnap (Silver Sunday) is the week before that. There is Bronze Sunday, too. On these three Sundays leading up to Christmas, many of the city’s stores stay open late. Normally, most Hungarian shops are closed on Sunday.

I guess the closest thing we have to these three days in the States would be Black Friday. On Bronze, Silver, and Gold Sundays, however, Hungarians don’t camp out in parking lots for discounted computers. Hungarian stores don’t put up barrier tape. Hungarian clerks don’t fear for their lives. The evening news in Hungary doesn’t show clips of grown-ups fighting, shoving, screaming, elbowing, and biting each other for Xboxes. YouTube videos posted from Budapest don’t capture holiday shoppers trampling other customers for discounted smart phones. Nope, Silver and Gold Sundays aren’t like Black Friday yet over here. Thank goodness.

7 thoughts on “Silver and Gold

  1. Enjoyed reading this so much. I’ve often wondered if these people know how stupid and ridiculous they make us look! I would never in a million years go out on “Black Friday” or any other day of that fashion, so help me God!

  2. Sweet. Great perspective. Rudolph was my hero, definitely, and I always loved the bunnies that hang out with Burl Ives. Kids are such great equalizers. I love it when I get super busy with all the music jobs and my brain is fried, and then I have to help my son wrap our presents for the kitty cats and sneak them under the tree spy-style. Even more perspective! xo

  3. Oh, those Golden Sundays :) I used to go to downtown Budapest on that day even if I did not have to buy anything. I just enjoyed the city wearing Christmas clothes and the forralt bor :) ))))

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