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"Seasons Greeting" - Ed's journal
sobrique
sobrique
"Seasons Greeting"
It's getting near to that time of year again.
You know, the one where all and sundry go and buy 'seasons greetings' banners, in a somewhat vain attempt to be politically correct.

I think this year, I shall go on a rampage, and set fire to any instance of 'seasons greetings' that I encounter.

It's not big, and it's not clever. To pretend you're not celebrating anything important. To send something sufficiently bland because you're concerned that 'oh shock, everyone's not christian, they might be unhappy if you wish them a merry christmas'.

Bollocks.

You are wishing _them_ well at time of year of significance to _you_. If you wish me a 'happy chinese new year' then I'm not going to be offended. Or a joyous Divali. Or a wonderful Ramadan.

Or hell, even a 'happy monday'.

Just because I don't observe such an occasion, doesn't mean I'm going to be in the slightest big distressed if you do. (Except the 'happy monday bit, I'm pretty certain that doesn't exist')

Of course, if you _aren't_ celebrating Christmas, then 'seasons greetings' may be apt. Of course, it also makes you a bit of a hypocritical moron, to be sending cards for something that isn't really of any importance to you.

I don't mind in the slightest if to you, Christmas is an annual family gathering, where good food is consumed, and there's kinda a tree, and presents and stuff.

I don't mind if, to you Christmas is a celebration of the birth of your Saviour, who died for the forgiveness of sins of mankind.

But seriously, if you are celebrating a religious festival, don't devalue it with the curse that is 'seasons greetings'.

And if you're just figuring that you'll have a bit of holiday, see the folks, have a few drinks, spare the rest of the world from your bland bits of paper and proclamations that you're celebrating nothing in particular.

Edit: A workmate just pointed me at this link on the BBC website about how 'Christmas Lights' were renamed 'Winter lights'. Grr.
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Comments
naranek From: naranek Date: November 16th, 2005 04:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Of course, if I were to wish you a happy monday, you'd have to have your fashion sense surgically removed, get hooked on smack, release two crap albums, and then disappear into obscurity, emerging every so often to give nonsense interviews to music magazines that no-one reads...
sobrique From: sobrique Date: November 16th, 2005 04:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've clearly inadvertently stumbled on some kind of songtitle or lyric haven't I?
phyrbyrd From: phyrbyrd Date: November 16th, 2005 04:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
We send Solstice cards. So a very happy solstice to you! :)
velvet_nothing From: velvet_nothing Date: November 16th, 2005 05:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Happy Wednesday! :o)

I like Christmas. And I don't think it's lame to send cards with any kind of nice thing on as long as you mean it, though Season's Greetings seems a bit stiff and formal. I sent Happy February cards (and cake!) last year because I decided it was a bit of a dismal month and some people needed cheering up.
cthulahoops From: cthulahoops Date: November 17th, 2005 01:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Happy February? There is no such thing.

There many reasons why the continued existance of February cannot be allowed. These include:


  • Almost one twelfth of violent crime occurs in February alone.
  • Some of the world's most evil people, including Hitler, Stalin and Barney the Dinosaur, were born in February.
  • As much as 1 in 1400 of all deaths occur on February 29th alone.
  • It is estimated that the confusion caused by leap years is responsible for 70% of children failing to complete the national calander competency curriculum.


On the basis of this overwhelming evidence, we call for the immediate elimination of February from the calander and the implementation of a 62 day January.

This has been an official statement on behalf of the Campaign to Ban January.
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xarrion From: xarrion Date: November 16th, 2005 06:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
(Except the 'happy monday bit, I'm pretty certain that doesn't exist')
Sure it does, except in most places you'll hear them referred to as Bank Holidays ;)
purp1e_magic From: purp1e_magic Date: November 16th, 2005 06:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Voice of dissent, I'm afraid. Although these days we celebrate christmas as a religious festival, growing up we used to not. We still enjoyed christmas, we still had a tree and presents and cards. When I send a card that says "season's greetings" what I mean is "isn't it wonderful when everybody makes a real effort to be cheerful, isn't it a lovely time of year! I've been thinking of you/ wanted to you know that I remember you, so I'm sending a card. I hope you're feeling the christmas spirit too." It's not that I would have avoided the phrase Merry Christmas, just that it means something else, so I would save it for people I know to be religious. I would quite like it if someone wished me a Happy Eid at Eid, even if they're not Muslim. But I'm unlikely to tell you Happy Divali, because I know you're not a Hindu. I am, however, likely to say "weren't the fireworks pretty, did you get involved, did you enjoy the occassion?" And if Divali were as big a thing as christmas I may well send a Divali card.
elrohana From: elrohana Date: November 16th, 2005 06:41 pm (UTC) (Link)

Dissent here too

I plan on sending nothing but Seasons Greetings cards. It has bog all to do with being PC, and everything to do with the fact that I will be sending them to cover Solstice/Yule as well. And I'm not Christian, so whilst I enjoy the winter festival that Christians like to call Christmas (and in fact, most Muslim, Hindus and Jews I know also call Christmas and acknowledge to a greater or lesser extent, depending on whether they have young kids or not), I would feel a bit off claiming to be celebrating it in the true Christian sense (not that I honestly believe many Christians DO celebrate it in the proper sense). And in a rebellion against the rampant commercialism of the season, I shall also be making as many as possible of the cards and gifts I give out.
sobrique From: sobrique Date: November 17th, 2005 09:46 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Dissent here too

So, you're sending 'seasons greetings' because you're celebrating the solstice?
the_wood_gnome From: the_wood_gnome Date: November 16th, 2005 07:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Surely you should be sending 'seasons greetings' cards all year round. afaik there are four seasons in the year....

Have a Wonderful Winter
A Super Spring
A Special Summer
and An Appy Autumn :)
girl_working From: girl_working Date: November 18th, 2005 09:15 am (UTC) (Link)
Please stop contributing to Ian's growing pile of 'h's. We're running out of room to store them all... ;)
mrph From: mrph Date: November 16th, 2005 08:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Happy hijacked pagan festival"

Works for me.
veremit From: veremit Date: November 16th, 2005 09:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
mreow...

.. saucer of milk, anyone?
jorune From: jorune Date: November 16th, 2005 11:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
I agree, one wonders whether this practice is encouraged by the secular movement in the country. An example of their touchiness would be Phillip Pullman who raged about the forthcoming Narnia films. He is an ardent atheist and worries that the films will lead people into Christianity.

It is a negation of life and a reduction of our common culture. What greetings do they offer? I am unaware of any thread of charity that exists in modern Atheism, I know of many religious charities from all the world's great religions. I do not know of one charity that is avowedly Atheist.
mrph From: mrph Date: November 17th, 2005 12:16 am (UTC) (Link)
I am unaware of any thread of charity that exists in modern Atheism, I know of many religious charities from all the world's great religions. I do not know of one charity that is avowedly Atheist.

Oxfam isn't religious. The Red Cross makes a point of religious neutrality. The Disasters Emergency Committee isn't religious either.

None of them are exclusively or avowedly atheist, but then why would they be? The Pullman/Dawkins view is rather extreme and doesn't seem to be shared by the majority.

I wasn't aware of Pullman's views on Narnia, but the BBC news piece has an interesting spin on that - he attacks the books for being racist and misogynist and also says "It's not the presence of Christian doctrine I object to so much as the absence of Christian virtue". I'm not at all sure I agree with him, but it's an interesting point of view...
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mcnazgul From: mcnazgul Date: November 17th, 2005 08:36 am (UTC) (Link)

winter lights my arse...

This year I'm sending Christmas cards to those who want it and other kinds to others. It might not be politically correct and if I know people will have issues with it, they'll get something appropriately seasonal/Yule-ish instead. The crafting idea... Hmmmm...

Gifts should be something the giver wants after all? I might take a crack at making cards - something we do at work is give money spent on cards to charity and we actually say to people 'Happy Christmas', 'Cool Yule' etc instead. Gifts may even be given to those we like or Secret Santa for.

And they're Christmas lights. The same way that the lights put up at Diwali are Diwali lights. If it's one thing that fecks me off it's attempts to gloss over culture like it's not there and this 'you-and-your-quaint-local-customs' attitude spouted by people desperately trying to be 'politically correct'. As though anything political is correct these days?

As for Pullman, don't get me started. Bad enough he turns what was possibly one of the better fantasy trilogies I've read into a thinly-veiled and (IMHO worse) poorly-executed diatribe against Christianity, he also commits a number of solecisms in terms of plot and character.

His views on Narnia are gurning to the gallery frankly - bad enough that he tries to apply politically correct values to a children's series written before such things even mattered, I shudder to think what he would make of Shakespeare (with it's poisonings, rapes, murders, adultery, cross-dressing, references to the supernatural and pro-Anglocentric views).

Or would that be too hard for him? Rant before breakfast. Cool.
veremit From: veremit Date: November 17th, 2005 11:56 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: winter lights my arse...

I take it you haven't seen the BBC's 'modern' adaptations of Shakespeare's plays??

I haven't but the summary advert they were trailing on Macbeth, coupled with the reviews in the TV paper lead me to believe they had almost managed just that ....
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queex From: queex Date: November 17th, 2005 01:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
After all, if Yule was stolen, it's only right that the term 'Christmas' should be stripped of its Christian trappings.

I call it Christmas. The UK is a predominantly Christian country (even if most are only Christian because they haven't the imagination to see if there's anything they like better) so Christian festivals tend to get the limelight.

On the other hand, Christmas is part of the country's cultural heritage, and is not the exclusive property of Christianity. After all, there is no religious significance in the Great Escape or Morecombe & Wise, despite them being part of the Christmas experience.

That said if someone doesn't like the relgious aspect/commercialisation/whatever of Christmas they can feel free to call it whatever they like. Apparently, 'Winterval' is gaining coin in the US, which I feel I should approve of on general principles because it's a pun.
absintheskiss From: absintheskiss Date: November 17th, 2005 12:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
For me it is simple. Although people are generally not Christian anymore alot of them seem very happy to take the perks that history has given them through living in a largely Christian country (until the 20th Century).

If people object so strongly to the festival of 'Christmas' and feel that it is politically incorrect then I can only assume they will not want any cards, presents, drunken dancing at the office do, and will be driving into work at 9.00am Dec 25th just like any other working day.

I send Yule cards to my pagan friends, and Christmas cards to everyone else. We are in a multicultural society, and I do respect the right of others to have other faiths, but get really annoyed when people complain about religion (of whatever type) with their face full of mince pie...
mister_jack From: mister_jack Date: November 17th, 2005 01:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
The thing that bugs me most about such pseudo politically correct claptrap as "winter lights" is that it feeds exactly the opposite viewpoint to its intended one. I see lots of people getting irate about "them" coming to "our" country and "making us change". Yet, in every genuine case I've seen of things like this the local Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, etc. leaders have come out as saying they don't care, and didn't ask for it. I approve, in general, of political correctness. I do think we should show consideration and tolerance towards others, but far too often it has gone beyond that and into changing things, or not doing things, not because they cause offence but because someone from a wholly different group thinks they might cause offence.
elrohana From: elrohana Date: November 17th, 2005 01:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
*gives Mister Jack a standing ovation*
From: (Anonymous) Date: November 23rd, 2005 02:01 pm (UTC) (Link)

Midwinter mingle

So how about a midwinter mingle?
You are welcome whatever the season.
Now I'd like to campaign for a 10 month year and remove November and February. Once upon a time there were 10 months.......
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