Monday, 24 December 2007

Tomorrow is Christmas!

Every year, around the same time, large parts of the world do this Red, Green and White Festival thing. It goes by various names, depending on the language you're speaking, but in English it is called Christmas.

Somehow I have always been more irritated that exited by this particular day. There are various reasons, but I think it boils down to two main ones.

Firstly, my family has never really done Christmas in any big way. In South Africa December it the biggest holiday season for the locals, so families end up being spread all over the country. This means that we don't get the traditional everyone-together-on-the-big-day all that often.

In places like Europe it is easier to be together because normally Christmas is not the biggest holiday season for going away. People prefer to stay together inside the nice warm buildings. We in the South go to the beach. Quite literally, we only dream of a white Christmas.

The second reason I don't get exited is that, well, I just don't like Christmas. It's a feast that has become nothing more than an economic holiday.

Here in Korea they don't really celebrate Christmas, but it's catching on, in the wrong way. Many of my students think it's a American Holiday about getting gifts. They have no idea that it is the celebration of the birth of Christ. Why should non-Christians even care about Christmas?

Another thing. How on earth can you have Christmas in a country and no Easter? Christmas has no meaning whatsoever without Easter. If you think about it then Christmas has very little meaning in any case. It makes for a nice bible story, but has very litte to do with the meaning of Christ, per se.

All in all I would be perfectly happy if there was no Christmas. I don't think I would even notice it's passing.

For those Westerners who know nothing about the history of Christmas, and there are many of you, have a look at this entry in Wikipedia.

I hope you all enjoy the Christmas though, whatever your motivations. For those of us in Korea who will be working again on Wedneday, best of luck.

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