Tuesday, December 13, 2005


On the editorial page in The Hindu today, an article exhorting that there be no 'unnecessary "coyness" about celebrating Christmas in a Christian country [Britain].'

The author completely misses the bus. It's not how many Christians there are in Britain or how strong the religious traditions are, but what Christmas stands for that makes it important to claim it from pseudo-secularists. The "spirit of Christmas", which is as pervasive in its good cheer and kindness as, I imagine, the air of Goa. Santa Claus, gifts, secret santa. Trees, decorations, mistletoe. Reds and greens, chocolate or plum cake. Christmas stories, Christmas movies, and above all, universal goodwill and generosity that you cannot but help respond to, get seized by. This is what the British and American kidlit of my kid days told me, and the odds are still is telling to kids everywhere.

Certain myths, like this one, are so beautiful in their innocence that you have to fight to keep them alive.

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