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Who practices on Christmas day?

December 24, 2008 at 3:03 PM

This is a funny yet interesting question. I have to admit that yes I practice on Christmas day... but the "take a break" option is just as valuable. I write this blog because yesterday, I caught my brother doing what I consider a "crime": doing maths the 23 of december when he should be enjoying his holidays! I grab his books and calculator 30 sec and said him a little speach about how I find it could be bad for his psychological health to do scolar things for fun on dec 23... But, he really like maths so I was kind of joking!  He said to me that it was totally crazy too to spend my vacations playing violin all day long! (yes shame on us too to practice compulsivly!)  How funny to realize that what tortures someone is an enjoyable thing for another!  So I was just wondering how much of us consider it is a crime to practice on Christmas day (if you don't have Christmas gigs or such things, of course) and how much of us consider it is just normal. I also want to mention for those who could call me selfish that I don't have children because of course, it would be selfish to neglect your own children on Christmas day to do your violin practices!

Merry Christmas!


From Tom Holzman
Posted on December 24, 2008 at 4:21 PM

I practice on X-mas day.  However, I am not a Christian.  The day has no particular meaning for me, although many years I have celebrated it as Jews tend to do by going to a movie and then to a Chinese restaurant for dinner.   For me, the day is like a weekend day and permits me extra time to practice.

From Paul G.
Posted on December 24, 2008 at 4:57 PM

I do...

And it's like Christmas has lost it's special meaning this year. I don't look forward to Christmas Eve nor day like I have in years past. It's just a break from school in my opinion this year.

From naomi p
Posted on December 24, 2008 at 7:05 PM

I practice all holidays rain or shine. I have nothing else to do for them. It generally turns into a rehearsal and movie fest. 

From Barry Nelson
Posted on December 24, 2008 at 7:57 PM

Since I already know my wife is getting me a new violin book for Christmas, you know I'll be playing. And since Ive the whole day free, minus gift opening,dinner, etc. I'll most likely put in a couple extra hours of happy violining.

From Mili Leitner
Posted on December 24, 2008 at 9:56 PM

I practice on Christmas, but not Yom Kippur. I guess they are sort of equivalents in level of importance :)

From Larisa Mihaela
Posted on December 25, 2008 at 12:32 AM

       I want to practice on Christmass day . I know my family doesn't understand this , but who cares... only a musician will understand I think my craving to take the violin into my hands. (and I keep tellling my father , no , it is not exagerated , there are others who do it as well)And , unfortunately , the whole day of Christmas is taken away from me by going to church in the morning and to a Christmass party in the afternoon and evening.I already feel horibly guilty for knowing I will not get to practice that day . I think I would rather not go to church and use the hours for valuable practice. But this would outrage my family , and my father has already threttened me to lock up my violin .:(

    Well, anyway , happy holidays to everybody , since tomorow is Christmas , and enjoy your time!

(my day away from violin ....sighs...)

From Yixi Zhang
Posted on December 25, 2008 at 7:44 AM

I do. I've finally got a stretch of 5 days off to play the violin and do the fun things.  Yay!

From Jahriel Rivera
Posted on December 25, 2008 at 7:48 AM

I practiced for 2 hours on Christmas Eve and achieved another breakthrough in my playing. I've been so excited about it I can't wait to practice more as soon as I get the chance. I also have my violin (in its case though) next to me as I get ready to go to bed.

I've been feeling pretty happy with it lately as you can see.     : )

To Paul G:

I know exactly what you mean. I was actually just having a conversation about this as I happened to read your post.



From Royce Faina
Posted on December 25, 2008 at 11:08 AM

The majority of my family are Jehovah's Witnesses. No Christmas celebration but we play cards, they ask me to play my violin, some sing along.... It's fun! I love my family they are good people! They take care of me, encourage me when I'm enduring my bipolar mood swings, and the subsequent episodes of  mania.



From James Green
Posted on December 25, 2008 at 5:09 PM

Typically it's not a good day for "practice" in so far as I don't challenge myself as I would during a normal session. But the family likes to do holiday jams when we get together, so it's a quite a bit of fun seeing how everyone has improved over the year. The only break really is for meals and occasional chit chat... and church, where I'm posting this from.

... shame on me. But I think the point I'm trying to get across at the risk of upsetting my pastor and the Big Man is that it's possible to make your musical addiction a part of the holiday. Again, just my two cents.

Happy holidays to you all. I'd best get going before I'm struck by lightning...

From Chuck Naill Jr.
Posted on December 25, 2008 at 5:40 PM

I just play every day because I enjoy it so much. I haven't practiced in years.



From Cris Zulueta
Posted on December 25, 2008 at 5:42 PM

I was supposed to have a lesson today but my teacher got a call at 7am this morning hoping that he could do a last minute holiday concert for the homeless.

I got a call not long after asking to change my lesson schedule. Will have a lesson tomorrow and get more practice on my Beethoven today.

Happy holiday one and all !

From Anne-Marie Proulx
Posted on December 25, 2008 at 6:07 PM

It's interesting to see the habits of each one. Yesterday, I actually practiced (like at every christmas) with only christmas lights on!  Romantic? Not really, I was doing scales lol! But it is cool to be in the Christmas mood and I love to decorate my practice place.  For those who need a little motivation in practicing, I strongly recommand to always try to make yourself a cute little place to practice and not leave it too messy. I swear it makes it more interesting to practice even if it is in an old basement like me! 

Larisa, never let your dad lock your violin up! Hide it somewhere lol... Tell him it is your religion and that you want to celebrate it even at Christmas. I personnally say to my parents that violin is "everything for me" and that it is just normal that I want to celebrate Christmas with what is "everything for me"!  Make him read this page so that he sees that you are not alone! just my two cents!

still Merry Christmas and your postings are always interesting!


From Bart Meijer
Posted on December 25, 2008 at 10:57 PM

On the first day of Christmas I practiced

From Stephen Brivati
Posted on December 25, 2008 at 10:59 PM


Er, my Christmas day.

4.30 Get up to let cat in. Cat looks at me and pukes on door step.

4.35 Clean up puke  and prepare box lunch.

5-6   Practice bowing and sclaes from you know who`s book.

Drive to work.

8-4  Teach the same Christmas songs two hundred times. Remind half the staff that it is actually Christmas Day.

5. Go home and feed cat. Throw him out in case he wants to puke again.

5-8 Practice.

8-10 Watch `Muisc of the Heart.`  Love that movie. Reminds me again that Meryl Streep may not be the sexiest woman on the planet but she sure as heck is one of the most interesitng and talented.  Surprised again by how Arnold Steinharts voice does not sound like his book. Also note thta the first movement of Bach double in this movie is one of the most energetic and passianate around- purists be damned.

10 Forgot it was Christmas and went to bed.  Got work tomorrow as well.



From Anne-Marie Proulx
Posted on December 25, 2008 at 11:19 PM

Buri, is Christmas celebrated in Japan or is it just because people have only 2 non working days by month (I have heard this but can't remember where) or because of Christmas gigs? At least, you could practiced Christmas music and look to this movie with the cat (I consider animals too!)

However, take care,


From Stephen Brivati
Posted on December 26, 2008 at 12:51 AM


Anne-Marie,  Christmas is not really celebrated here.  The New Year is the big event.   With the influix of foreigners Christma sparties for young children etc are fairly common.   The shops sell lots of Christma sthings and hacve decorations and lights up , some of which can be very spectcaular but it is a question of image rather than anything to do with a genuine celebration. As far as only two days a month is concerned, in theory most people should have much of the weekend off although that doesn`t work so well in practice. Japan actually has more national holidays than any otehr country in the world so it is surprisng how much free time one actually gets in some months.

A lot that is written about Japan and its tough work conditions and ethics needs ot be taken woth a pinch of salt. Its true many Japanese people work very hard and also that lower end workers are exploited. Nonetheless,  when one actually looks at statistics for actuall work hours and so forth Japan is not at the tob of the list. Depending on how you do the surveys it it actually works out the average American works longer.  C\Conasider all the disenfranchise dpoor who have to have two or even thre epart time jobs just to keep a roof over the ehasd. Y(ou don`t see that so much in Japan.

Bon Noel


From Pauline Lerner
Posted on December 26, 2008 at 4:50 AM

Following Bart's post,

On the second day of Christmas, I practiced the Bach Double Concerto.

On the third day of Christmas, I practiced "For the Love of Three Oranges."

From Nicole Stacy
Posted on December 26, 2008 at 5:43 AM

I had a friend who spent yesterday working on a dissertation, poor soul!

From Stephen Brivati
Posted on December 26, 2008 at 6:25 AM


on the fourth day of Christmas I played in a quartet.

Schubeeeeerts Trout.





From Bart Meijer
Posted on December 26, 2008 at 7:55 PM

How do you all count days of Christmas? I had imagined that counting would start at one on Christmas day, but Pauline and Buri are way ahead of me!

Anyhow, on Boxing day I practiced


From Karen Allendoerfer
Posted on December 26, 2008 at 11:04 PM

 I thought about it, but with house guests and two kids, and putting together all the toys and cooking, and etc etc, it didn't happen.  It might still happen today (the 26th).  Or not.

From Yixi Zhang
Posted on December 27, 2008 at 7:35 AM

On Xmas day I practised on Bach #1 Sonata (Adagio and Presto) and Viotti concerto #22. On Boxing day, a lot more Bach Sonata 1, a bit of 2nd Periot concerto, and following Buri's advice, I practised Kreutzer #9 for my  pinkie until my hand started to cramp.  I hope by the end of the Holiday season, I'll be somewhat back to shape and call my teacher for lessons again.

From Anne-Marie Proulx
Posted on December 27, 2008 at 8:05 PM

Still thanks for your interesting comments! Buri, thanks for sharing infos about the Japanese culture. It's true that we think that asians work much harder than the US people but, in fact, the more it goes, the more every country is going in the same "pattern" which is inspired by the US... (the asians work a little less and the americans work more!) There is also stereotypes with the occidental world (the american dream...) thinking that it is cool, the people have a lot of material things etc... There was a time when I was not even born when the average american person could live the "american dream" (big car, big house, retire at 55-60, get 10% or more of interest on the money they put at the bank, go often down south etc) Today, the average population is far from living that life, everyone is always having less money and a lot of people live on credit...  Yes, the average person have more houses than in Europe but the people are often not able to pay them and it's a real problem.  Overtime is common.  Just a few words for those on violinist who still think we (people from america) live in a paradise... 

Happy New year! I will try to practce but I have to move to my grandparents in order to do it because we will be 13 in our house for a couple days!

Happy New year day parties!



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