Keep 'Christmas' in Christmas

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My last post before some big holiday next week. What to write about, what to write about…?

A Sikh MP has stood up for celebrating Christmas: http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/12/20/nina-grewal-christmas/

There is this decades-long fantasy that making Canada welcoming to immigrants means dismantling the cultures that forged our national identity in the first place. This is foolishness of the first order. I remember reading a ‘Top 10 reasons not to emigrate to Canada’ list - written by immigrants warning those thinking of coming here - and one of the reasons listed was lack of a culture! The good news is that the Maritimes has remained somewhat insulated from this trend. But go to southern Ontario and you’ll experience the bland, generic non-culture of an airport lobby, except when you venture into ethnic enclaves that, rightly, celebrate their own robust traditions.

I’m making blanket statements about complicated issues, I realize, but the fact remains that a nation-wide attempt to avoid offense guarantees a country that only shares a single virtue: capitalism (it’s a good virtue, but not when it’s the only one).

Atheists are to blame for some of the attacks on Christmas: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/story/2012/12/14/sk-merry-christmas-message-on-buses-1212.html

I think this complainant is on the right track when he takes issue with prayers being said at a city-sanctioned event. I find it bizarre that some town events here in Amherst begin with a prayer, and a prayer was said at ARHS’s graduation last year. To me that’s a gross and obvious intrusion of religion into government. But Christmas?

I’m not a Christian. I used to be a Christian, but I’m not anymore. But I still celebrate Christmas. Let Christmas be the birth of Jesus for the religious. But for the rest of us, it’s still the biggest secular holiday of the year. This man isn’t protesting Christianity, he’s protesting reality and history. This is the Christmas season in Canada, and it has been since Europeans became the dominant culture in this land. You can dislike it, but that doesn’t change the facts. If you object to Christ and God, fine. Do you object to Rudolph and Frosty, candy canes and egg nog? A strong, inclusive, secular Christmas tradition exists alongside the Christian story, and attempts at attacking it are just mean-spirited. The message of Christmas is entirely positive, regardless of your spiritual inclinations.

Christmas is certainly not the right time for jealousy (what is the right time, you ask?). What else can we call petty sniping at Katie Holmes’s alleged plan to buy her daughter, Suri, a $24,000 playhouse: http://ca.omg.yahoo.com/news/roll-call-suri-cruises-24k-christmas-gift-190115073.html

Here’s a newsflash for all you outraged socialists: Movie stars are rich. They buy expensive presents for their children because they love them and have the means to spoil them.

Hopefully that largesse also extends to charities and the less fortunate. It would be a shame if someone had tens of millions of dollars and couldn’t find cash for the less fortunate. But do we really need to begrudge a child a fabulous present?

I know, I know, think how many starving kids could have been fed with that $24,000. It’s a good point. But how many starving kids could be fed with the money you spend on Tim’s coffee, drinking beer, or cellphone bills? The point is, very few of us are saints nor, frankly, are we required to be. (Maybe it would be great if we were, but I dunno...an extreme example: would keeping your family in poverty so you could spend all your money helping families overseas be ethical?). Bottom line, I’m not prepared to fault a mother for loving her daughter and choosing to express that love with a lavish Christmas present. Yeah, she’s rich, and we’re rich compared to people in the Sudan.

The answer to this question? (http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/12/21/will-darwin-be-home-for-christmas-judge-to-decide-ikea-monkeys-fate-today/)

I hope not.

I understand the impulse to own an exotic or wild pet. I share that impulse. Most animal lovers probably do. There are even circumstances where I think it’s moral to indulge it – like, for example, if a wild animal can no longer survive in the wild due to injury. No need to pretend you’re caring for it just because you’re a good person. Animal rescuers want contact with wild animals, some perhaps to have one as a pet, and that’s OK.

The difference, though, is that they don’t allow their desires to take precedence over the well-being of animals.  

Monkeys don’t do well in captivity. Anyone who has researched the subject even a little will find that, again and again, attempts to keep monkeys as pets end in disaster. The juvenile becomes an aggressive, petulant adult. Almost all of them bite, and they have nasty teeth. They destroy homes. Even if you’re a pet owner who doesn’t surrender the animal, you’re probably miserable: caring for an animal you love but also hate, because it’s so radically diminished the way you live.

The monkey has gone to a primate rescue centre. You know what? It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if the people who run that centre dreamed when they were kids that one day they’d have a pet monkey. There’s nothing wrong with that desire. But they turned what could have been a negative interest in monkeys into a positive. They did it the right way, and created a sanctuary.

Darwin is better off there, with his own kind. And his “mother” needs to get a kitten.

That’s it. I hope the coming days bring you happiness and peace. Merry Christmas!

UPDATE: Nice story, and further evidence multicultural relations don't have to be dictated by politically correct blowhards (sorry, have to copy and paste): http://www.lfpress.com/2012/12/20/muslims-boost-catholic-food-drive 

 

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