First off there needs to be full disclosure. While I was baptised in the Uniting Church of Australia when I was 10, I am now an agnostic. I won’t go into the reasons why I no longer believe as that is a whole different story. Today I want to discuss what Christmas means to me and how I think the politically correct world is ruining it.
Even when I did believe in God and heaven and all that jazz, Christmas for me wasn’t a religious time. It was the time of year when I got to spend time with the people I love. Yeah, I know, there are 364 other days of the year when I can do that but everybody makes the effort to catch up at Christmas time.
We alternate where Christmas day is held in our family and everyone turns up. We swap gifts. We eat. Some of us consume copious amounts of alcohol – not me, I don’t drink. We play with the kids and maybe they get to play with their new toys too. We eat again. Perhaps we have a game of back yard cricket because the boxing day test starts the following day and we are all in the mood. We sing Christmas carols – though these are generally restricted to Jingle Bells, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer and Silent night and rarely do we get the words right. One of us is always on the phone talking to friends and relatives who are far, far away before handing over the phone to the next person to wish them merry Christmas as well.
Christmas to me is that great feeling of watching my kids open their Christmas presents early in the morning. Bleary eyed and full of excitement – me, as well as them!
Christmas to me is putting out a couple of cookies and a glass of milk for Santa and a piece of carrot for the reindeers on Christmas Eve before the kids have gone to bed, then being not the least bit guilty eating them about 10 minutes later leaving just a few crumbs. Then seeing their excitement the next morning when they see the snacks are gone and the glass of milk is almost empty supposedly because Santa was thirsty.
Christmas to me is taking the kids to see Santa at the shopping centre and watching their eyes light up when Santa asks them what they want for Christmas. I then fork out $50 for photos and mementos which then become re-gifts to some family members.
Christmas to me is going Christmas shopping at 2am – because I am a disorganised shopper – when the department stores open for 36 hours a few days before Christmas. Last year I had never seen a shopping centre so busy as I did that morning. Even when I left a little after 3am it was just as busy. There was an energy and excitement in the air.
Christmas to me is putting up the Christmas tree and the decorations. We don’t put a lot up but there is a definite Christmas feel to the house. Now that the kids put up the tree I take great delight in watching them do it.
Christmas to me is going to the work Christmas lunch or drinks and toasting the end of another work year and kicking back and enjoying a few casual hours with my work mates.
Christmas to me is letting go one of my own Ho, Ho, Ho’s to my friends kids on the phone and pretend I am Santa and hearing their excitement as they think they are talking to Father Christmas.
Christmas to me is watching It’s a Wonderful Life and Home Alone 2 and other great Christmas movies. Christmas in Australia is different to Christmas in America, well it appears that way from the movies anyway. Perhaps it has to do with the snow and the Americans really getting into the Christmas spirit.
Christmas to me is enjoying the Channel 9 Lord Mayor’s Christmas Carols hosted by Ray Martin. That’s always fun to watch and we sing along to the carols.
Christmas to me is being caught up in the season for not only these reasons but for many others as well.
Christmas to me is not a religious festival, but that time of year when I look forward to seeing my family and friends and doing all of the above.
I can remember only once going to church on Christmas day. I was probably 11 or 12. I have never stopped once since then to think of Jesus and all that he allegedly sacrificed for ‘us’.
Does that make me a hypocrite? I don’t believe in Jesus, well the biblical Jesus anyway, so why do I celebrate the season? Maybe it does make me a hypocrite. If it does, then so be it. I’m not going to alter the way I celebrate the season.
Do I get offended by the nativity scenes in the shopping centres? Do I get offended by the religious themed Christmas carols? Do I get offended by the religious hype at this time of year? Nope. Not at all. I understand that people have their faith and sometimes I am jealous of them, and I have no right to be offended. Australia is still generally a religious culture and I choose to live here knowing that.
Lately however there is an element of people who are determined to remove all references to Christmas to satisfy the wishes of a very, very small minority. There are many religions in the world that do not celebrate Christmas. You know who they are so no need to list all of them here.
With Australia becoming a very multicultural society, there is a small percentage of our population who do not celebrate this festive season and that is their right. Instead, they just go on about their daily lives. However there is an even smaller portion of these people who are offended by this Christian festival known as Christmas. They would like to see us rename it. They would like to see the angels on top of the trees gone. They would like the carols to stop playing in the shopping centres. It appears as though they would like the whole idea of Christmas to vanish all together.
Today I heard on Brisbane radio station 4BC, that The Australian Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union want to change their name because the word ‘liquor’ is offensive to some people, most notable some Muslims. Hell, I am a non drinker and I am not offended by the name. Instead they want to call it “United Voice”. You can hear that interview here.
Some schools and shopping centres are considering many of these requests (demands) to de-Christ-mas this festive season. How ridiculous.
The reason why a lot of immigrants come to Australia is for our culture. Our freedom of speech. Our relaxed lifestyle. Our sense of community. I don’t mean to sound racist, but it seems the more that come to our shore, either legally or illegally, or the more who convert to these religions the more pressure there is to change.
If you don’t like the fact that we celebrate Christmas in Australia, well the solution is simple. Don’t come here! Or if you are here already, go home or to another country that doesn’t celebrate it.
It is the same as me moving to a country where they don’t celebrate Christmas and insisting they do. I wouldn’t move there in the first place but if I had to for whatever reason, I certainly wouldn’t be asking them to satisfy my minority concerns.
Australia is a bloody awesome country and we have a long and proud history of accepting immigrants to our shores, with the Italians, Greeks and English having done so for decades. We will accept anyone but it has to be on our terms. Accept that we have our own culture and join us or remain quiet on the things that upset your cultural beliefs.
Like I said, I am not religious and it is not my right to demand that all religious references to Christmas be removed. That is my choice to not believe and I accept that Christmas is not only all of the things I mentioned above, it is also a time for Christians to give their thanks and show their support for their faith. I’m fine with that.
It just seems that we a losing a little bit of what Australia is meant to be every year and that is very sad.
Everyday Australians, whether you were born here or not and who are proud of our culture, need to stand up and say no more. This is our land and we like it the way it is. I’m doing that now by writing this post. I hope people read it and it gets them thinking and I hope they agree with me and if they do, talk about it. I hope they tell their school that they want Christmas to remain as it is. I hope they tell their shopping centres they enjoy the carols playing and seeing “Merry Christmas’ on the posters and not just “Seasons Greetings”. I hope they tell their local member of parliament that they support our culture.
I hope we can still call it Christmas in 10 years time. I want my children to understand the joy I feel at Christmas time as a parent, when they become parents themselves.
I just hope for the future. I’m concerned. Are you?
Please comment or rate this post to allow me to have feedback to assist with my writing. Thanks. Jack.