While most people are finished with holiday festivities by now, I like to drag it out. According to older European traditions, we’re only on the ninth day of Christmas (did you know that Christmas Day is only the first?) and leads up to Epiphany, January 6th. We like to drag the Christmas season out until then since it’s such a wonderful time of year.
But whether you’re hanging onto Christmas until Epiphany or have already put everything away, tomorrow is one of my favorite celebrations of the year: Tolkien’s birthday. It feels so appropriate that the 400th post on this blog is dedicated to him, the author who’s greatly inspired my writing over the years.
While the events of the day always vary, there are three things I always have to do.
1. Wear something inspired by Tolkien’s works.
Tree of Gondor shirt, Hobbitish clothes, Elvish-inspired jewelry, Elvish braids… something.
2. Indulge in something by Tolkien.
Sometimes it’s just a few pages of The Lord of the Rings or a few minutes of one of the movies, but I have to get something in.
3. Join the 9pm (local time) toast to the Professor.
Ever since I discovered this on the Tolkien Society website, this has been a requirement in my house and at my parents’ house. (I’m a second generation Tolkien fan, after all.) Unlike in other years, though, they actually have a hashtag: #TolkienBirthdayToast.
At 9pm, local time, my husband and I have a drink of some sort and toast simply to “The Professor.” It’s a simple tradition, but it’s the most important of the three. It gives me a moment to think about one of my favorite authors and how he has inspired me as a writer.
This year, I’ll probably do my toast with some Darjeeling in a handmade, hand-painted tea for one my parents brought back from Poland.
So here’s to the Professor.