Wednesday, December 07, 2005

"Holiday Season"

People on the radio are ranting about the un-Christianification of Christmas, as typified by the trend of saying happy holidays instead of Merry Christmas in stores, etc. This, of course, is rank PC-ness, blahdeeblahblah. But the silliness of the whole thing is that the Christmas season, viewed from non-Christian eyes, is plenty Christian still. It's not Chanuka lights strung from all of the trees throughout the city and campus. It's not Chanuka music that you hear playing as Muzak 24/7. And, as you walk down the streets, the happy holidays messages on the store windows are made slightly more specific by pictures of candy canes and tree ornaments. My dorm had a Christmas carol singing party in the lounge one night this week. For all the hand-wringing and whining, Christmas is plenty alive and well.
And more power to it. I'm all in favor of a more religious country, even if the constant Christmasness is somewhat grating after a while (but no doubt it's annoying for everyone else as well. A month of Christmas music...), and does serve to remind me of the degree to which I am not really part of the general country, as if I needed more reminding. That's why all this PC stuff amuses me as much as the right-wing hand-wringing- both sides are so totally off my reality. I don't celebrate Christmas, I'm not offended by its existance, and I see no signs of its stopping to sweep the nation. It's out there, alive and kicking, and I don't really care. But I do have to say, I'm looking forward to visiting Israel, where the stores are already selling sufganiot, dreydls, and chocolate coins, the taxi drivers will wish me a chag sameach, and for eight days, every street in Jerusalem is a string of lights. It feels...almost like what Christmas season must feel like the Christians.

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