Wednesday, November 11, 2015


With 60 million refugees in the world, child poverty on the rise, climate change, wars all over the world, civilians being droned in many places, I can only shake my head on the crazy Americans fall for the bread and circuses of a red cup and imaginary war on Christianity.

The war exists in their minds.

To a certain extent they want to inflict their religion on others and to me they are as bad as the Sharia law that they fear. And of course as all bread and circuses the worry about a cup decoration keeps their minds off the real dangers they face under things like TPP, overpriced health care no real wage increases since the 60s, the list goes on and on.

The same people seem not to realise the history of Christmas is an update of pagan holidays. 

Many religions and societies thru out time have a rebirth celebration. It comes from the seasons of planting and harvesting, which means the difference between life and death. It does not come from a red cup.

Christmas can be a wonderful time of sharing. It can also be a time of over-consumerism where people go into more debt to buy things that they don't need at prices they can't afford. At the same time I love the public decorations (although not in October), the get togethers, bringing a real tree into the house, the time off from normal life. I like trying to find a great present for those I love and it doesn't have to be expensive. My daughter wants menthol tissues, socks and movenpick coffee from Switzerland. I love she sends me cryptoquote puzzles and something with a penguin.

Insanity number two is whether one says Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas. There are two holidays within a week so Happy Holidays works as well.

I will wish my Christian friends Merry Christmas. I will wish those whose religion I don’t know happy holidays (this includes my Arabic friends who will have time off during the period and will use it as a holiday—so many businesses close here in Switzerland between Christmas Eve and Jan. 2 and it is not part of our 4-6 week guaranteed vacation).   

I will say Happy Hanukkah to my Jewish friends. Joyeux Noël to my French friends, Feliz Navidad to my Spanish friends, Frohe Weihnachten to my German, Veselé Vánoce to my Czech, although each year they laugh at my pronunciation. 

Sadly, so many people have asked me why there is even an issue of Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays. When I explain they shake their heads and see it as another of America’s totally un-understandable issues when there are so many problems in the country. At the same time I feel blessed to live in such a multi-cultural, multi national environment where religion is personal.

The point is to share good wishes and to come together rather than build walls. 

People who follow the teaching of Christ may or may not be Christians, but giving and loving not just in December is far more important than a red cup or how one wishes good things. That is neither bread or a circus.

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