Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Tabernash!

In high school I was friends with some very creative people. Peter and Lee were two of my closest friends -- Lee being perhaps my closest friend and Peter being one of my best friends since we met in 1st grade (I think). Peter actually just finished a children's book and it can be previewed at his website, www.petergulsvig.com. Check it out; it's really good (and gives you a good idea of his sense of humor).

Mormons needed a holiday

During my junior year of high school Peter and Lee decided that since Jews have Hanukkah, Africans have Kwanzaa, Christians have Christmas, and Muslims have Ramadan, Mormons needed their own holiday, too. They know that Mormons are Christian and that we celebrate Christmas but decided that wasn't good enough. Mormons needed their own holiday. Why? Because they (we) can.

So Lee and Peter created Tabernash. Tabernash is a Mormon holiday that occurs every year on December 23rd -- a date chosen randomly by them that just so happens to be the birthday of Joseph Smith. Lee created a song to the tune of In the Hall of the Mountain King that goes "It's the Mormon Tabernash, Tabernash, Tabernash. It's the Mormon Tabernash, Tabernash, Tabernash. Dance! Dance! Dance! Dance! Dance! Dance! Dance!" and has sung and danced it annually for me since it's inception.

Better still is that they told people about this. Most students at my school knew that I was Mormon, but growing up in the Midwest I was 1 of 3 Mormons in a school of about 1300. Few people knew much about the church and some were nervous to ask about things they'd heard. I don't blame them; I've been asked some rather ludicrous questions by close friends who had heard things and wanted to ask if they were true. Lee had been told that newlywed Mormons have to consummate their marriage in front of their parents. He said he didn't believe it but just had to ask. I don't know where that came from.

Where was I? Oh, yeah: people were told about Tabernash. Apparently people who I didn't know well weren't comfortable asking me about my faith but they'd ask Lee or Peter since they knew they were my close friends. Again, being the creative and comical group that they were, they decided to tell people about Tabernash. And people believed them. On the last day of school for Christmas break I was at my locker getting my coat on and a friend from one of my classes came by and, in all seriousness, wished me a
Happy Tabernash. I had to stifle laughing and told him "thanks" and wished him a Merry Christmas.

Inspiration for Tabernash

He walked off with what I can only describe as pride that he had respected my faith.

Now that you know the origins of Tabernash, I'd like to wish you all a Happy Tabernash. I plan to keep celebrating it each and every year and I hope you'll make it a part of your holidays, too.


Gismya said...

Merry Tabernash!
Unfortunately I read this to late to celebrate it in my house, but I'll try to remember it next year :)

--jeff * said...

the joys of having overly-creative friends... like the time jamie had parents thinking i had a brain tumor...

yes, seeing lee sing the tabernash song at last night's tabernash feast was truly wonderful. like the annualy muppet Christmas party (a.k.a "nog night"), i'm already looking forward to next year's.

lastly, your twitter comment makes it sound like i rolled over and died during the middle of my zelda game. which really wouldn't be a bad way to go.