I always say: to be a Jew and an atheist at Christmastime is to know the meaning of "I was a stranger in a strange land". (I do always say it: I wrote the exact same thing last year. I am so boring!)
Even as a child, the sight of the Christmas tree at the White House bothered me, and I never understood why Christmas is a national holiday in a country that isn't supposed to have a state religion. Still don't.
So this bullshit that has the religious right in its latest snit - the notion that Christmas somehow needs "saving", this bizarre campaign to portray the vast Christian majority as persecuted - is beyond the scope of my imagination. All I can do is shake my head in disbelief.
Last year I wondered if I would feel just as alienated during Christmastime in Canada. Readers conjectured that I probably would, as the Christian tradition is predominant. The Christmas onslaught does seem more low-key here, but I'm shielded from large parts of the culture, working by myself at home, kind of living in my own world. Or maybe Christmas really is more low-key here; it is, after all, a more low-key culture.
Last year at Christmas, I was feeling sad about leaving New York. (Two posts: here and here.)
Yesterday, on a whim, we had dim sum - assuming that on Christmas Day, Chinese Canadians are very likely to be enjoying little bits of deliciousness from carts rolling by their tables. We were right. The dim sum palace recommended by Matt was hopping - crowded and noisy, as dim sum is supposed to be, and absolutely packed.
The most visible difference between Christmas Dim Sum in Mississauga and in New York was that, here, we were one of the very few non-Asians in the busy restaurant. In New York City, at least half of the people crowding into Chinese restaurants on Christmas are (presumably) Jewish, or at least white. Here, the diners were 99% Chinese. That was fun, and the food was great.
On the "who took the Christ out of Christmas" nonsense, here's an excellent post from Nick at Life Without Borders, by way of DU, by way of someone's reply to a chain email. One thing you can count on from the Fox News crowd: they never have their facts straight.
Why do these people feel so threatened by change? Isn't being the overwhelming majority good enough for them?
Don't answer that. Enjoy Boxing Day!