“Happy Holidays” etc.
Returning back to Canada for the holidays has reminded me of many things. I am reminded of the beauty of cold weather, the beauty of snow falling, and the beauty of faces and places from my memories. I have also learned several things. One of the things that I have learned is that “Happy Holidays” is now the generally accepted term de rigeur for the Christmas season. This term is meant to include all who celebrate one of various religious and cultural holidays at this time of year. For that end, this is a positive change. Growing up in a multi-cultural country and now living in a multi-cultural nation that is more resrticitive and protective of the main culture, I shjould be in a position to appreciate the sentiment of making a holiday greeting inclusive. And yet, the little boy in me pines for the days of “Merry Christmas” filling the air and the airwaves. The feelings that this phrase invoke in me bring me back to years past when this time of year was filled with carolling and baking — and just being a kid. As I think about it, the de-religifying of the Xmas season in North America is reflected in the use of Happy Holidays. Christmas is becoming more and more Xmas and increasingly becoming the “holidays.” As for me, this transition reflects my own practices, but I still hope that the positives of the season are not equally lost. What’s in a name? Well, nothing as long the holidays keep the heart of Christmas and resist becoming Holidays Inc.
I have to say too how nice it is to be in Canada relaxing. I can sit on my parent’s couch, eat homemade cookies, watch hockey, plan when to go snowboarding, drink a beverage, bask in the glow of the xmas tree and enjoy relaxation. The “R” word has not been in my vocabulary for quite a while, and this vacation has really given me time to think.
I was reading a book the other day and it had a line something like, “some years ask questions, and some years provide answers.” I have now realized that I am just finishing the former and I am starting the latter.
One more thing that I like about xmas is that it comes at the end of the year. I like how a time of kindness and celebration ends the year. It is like a celebration of what is past and a time to recharge for the future.
Relaxing in Canada…