Christmas vs. Holidays

In the UK, our late-December festivities are completely focused around the word Christmas. In the US, it’s simply The Holiday Season, which is way more inclusive, given that Christmas is, well, Christian, and given the diversity of cultures and religions that exist within the US. This despite the US deeming itself a very Christian country. I like this inclusive attitude.

In this morning’s Metro, I read of a group of parents in the UK who are going to complain to their local education authority because their school changed their children’s Christmas Party into a Winter Party. The school (Hill View Primary School in Bournmouth) doesn’t appear to be denominational, so I’m bemused by the parents’ issue.

In the UK, little is actively done to embrace the mutli-culturalism that our immigration policies have brought us, and such stories only serve to highlight this failure.

One parent, Penny Turner, defended her stance. "I’m not prepared to bring my child up in a school that regards political correctness as that important." Meanwhile local councillor Claire Smith waded in. "It’s very easy to offend people’s sensibilities but, as far as I’m concerned, this is a Christian country and most of us are still happy to celebrate the birth of Christ."

It shows ignorance on the part of the parents, and a lack of understanding of the wider issues by the local councillor.

As an aside, the main menu (turn your sound down if you follow the link) shows further evidence of the dying apostrophe, with its "Childrens Area".


5 Responses to “Christmas vs. Holidays”

  1. AJ on December 19th, 2006 23:26

    You missed out “Meanwhile, Muslim MP Dewsbury Labour MP Shahid Malik was yesterday congratulated in the Commons for sending a card marked ‘Merry Christmas’.”

    Muslims celebrate Ramadam (Eid-ul-Fitr), Hindus celebrate Diwali, Chinese their New Year etc. so why cannot we celebrate Christmas. I don’t see why that should offend anyone – may be just really PC and ban all religous/cutural/any festival as it might offend someone somewhere – or maybe just tell those people that get offended to get a life and accept diversity.

  2. Dan on December 19th, 2006 23:33

    My issue is in your use of the word “we” in the second sentence of your second paragraph. If everyone at the school was indeed Christian, then I have no issue; if they weren’t, then “we” is the wrong word…

  3. AJ on December 20th, 2006 00:24

    If you’re not of the relevant religion to celebrate a festival be it Eid-ul-Fitr, Diwali, Chinese New Year, Christmas, Easter then don’t celebrate it, and let those who want to celebrate it carry on. Don’t change its name in the belief that is is somehow more “inclusive” – you might as well just change all festival names to Festival “n of m”.

  4. Dan on December 20th, 2006 00:33

    I’d certainly celebrate “n of m”. Maybe we should name all our holidays after prime numbers, with increments throughout the year. New Year’s Day would become Holiday 2, Easter would become 3, May Day 5 etc.

    Christmas Day and Boxing Day would be given something like 29 and 31.

    I’d be more comfortable 😀

  5. Jon Willis on December 21st, 2006 13:44

    I agree with you Dan – I tihnk one of the areas of confusion is that there are now two ‘Christmas’ definitions – the religious one, for Christians, and the ‘general’ one, for everyone else that is ‘Christian’ (sort of believe in God, with the beard, maybe, go to church for weddings, funerals, that sort of thing, want their children to believe in the baby Jesus and Santa Claus, etc.)

    ‘Holidays’ is a good word to describe these various religious festival – unless I’m mistaken, it does mean ‘Holy Days’ anyway? Covers quite a few religions then.

    Nice juicy topic to blog on.

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