I was walking by the local hardware store today and noticed that they were putting up a Christmas tree in the window display. It dawned on me that it's Christmastime. Albeit a month early but I am sure that Christmas arrived in the US before Halloween! There have been a few stores here that have put up some Christmas decorations/sale items in the last few weeks but I havent really 'noticed'. I was thinking that was probably because there isnt a fake Santa standing in front of every store ringing a bell or because I dont get the Sunday newspaper with all those sale ads urging me to shop soon. I kinda like this casual atmosphere here. Its a refreshing change.
On the other hand, I have seen several news segments about things going on in the US (re: the upcoming holidays) that really disturb me. Its no secret that I am a conservative Christian but these 'ideas' being presented have nothing to do with religion for me....its a matter of common sense.
First, I heard that we should now mourn Thanksgiving. Apparently there are a handful of Native Americans who find this holiday repulsive--a slap in the face of their heritage--how the Americans came and ruined their lives forever (notice how I have been conditioned to say Native Americans and not Indians). And, apparently, they want to take their case to court!!!!!! What is this nonsense? Thanksgiving has long lost any reference to its original meaning in the US. Its a long weekend where most people travel to visit relatives they dont really want to spend time with and eat way too much and watch football before going to the stores to start shopping for Christmas. No one thinks about the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria when they start to carve that turkey. Give me a break--this politically correct crap (and thats the PC word) is out of hand.
And then I hear there is a coalition of people who want to change Santa's appearance. The want all the Santa's in the malls and stores to be 'not overweight' and eating carrots instead of cookies. I cant even write what I want to say because it is so obscene. Who even thinks this idea is worth talking about? Because an imaginary man eats cookies all the time and is jolly and his belly jiggles, we are portraying the wrong image to our children that fat is OK?????? How about stop feeding your kid McDonalds 4 times a week because you are too lazy to cook for them? Or perhaps you should stop buying your child Nintendo games and tell them to go ride their bike and play outside? But I guess I am just thinking silly.
Dont even get me started on how they want us to say Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas and how all those big mega stores are following this idea because they are pansies. If you want to be politcally correct across the board, then we better find other ways to say Happy St. Patricks Day and come up with a holiday for Vice Presidents (why should the Presidents get all the credit). And if you arent a Christian, then you need to be working on these holidays or else I need to be getting days off for all of your holidays. Its more than ridiculous. Every other religion or atheist group wants their holiday to be in the forefront in the US and have the Christian holidays banned because they are biased. I have news for you--they arent Christian holidays anymore--everyone benefits from them. They are vacation days wrought with American consumerism and some of the biggest giving times of the year for homeless shelters. Ands whats more important, they are traditions in this country. Traditions that should not be cast aside because our country is suffering from the ability to stand up for its values and going overboard in trying to please everyone.
I am glad to be spending this time of year here in Italy.....I have a feeling its about tradition here also. Keep in mind that well over half of the population claim to be Catholic but that is only by birth. The overwhelming majority attend mass on Christmas and Easter only (sound familiar??). But they dont seem to have a problem in rejoicing in their traditions.
What do I want for Christmas? I want you to continue to say Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas to everyone you pass. I want you to write your congressman and tell him what hooey all this is. And I want you to enjoy the traditions we grew up with without fear of offending someone. And, if you are so inclined, I want you to celebrate the true, long-lost meaning of Christmas and say some prayers for our country and this disturbing trend. But, of course, I dont really have an opinion on this, do I?!