Back in the days when it was incumbent upon me to earn my living, the days between Boxing Day and New Year's Day were among the busiest of my year. There was none of this "twelve days of Christmas" business for me; Christmas Day and Boxing Day were my Christmas.
Somehow, over the years, decades or even centuries, we seem to have got ourselves - or our lives - out of synch. The Christmas celebrations should take place from 25th December until 5th January - Twelfth Night. That is the liturgical period of Christmas and that is when, in days of yore, people conducted their celebrations. Houses were decorated with greenery on Christmas Eve, not on the 1st December or even a week before Christmas. That made the day itself more special.
Of course, plans had to be made in advance. Christmas puddings were made on stir-up Sunday - the last Sunday before Advent when the collect for the day begins, "Stir up, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people." There would have been none of the frantic shopping during the weeks before the festival, with Christmas carols being blared out in every shop and streets hung with expensive baubles. No office Christmas parties, no school nativity plays.
Christmas must have been a lot simpler then - and probably all the more special because of it.
And the title of this piece - Half way there? Well, today is the seventh day of Christmas so we are half way through.