Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Closedown

We are into December, half way through and everything is focused on Christmas and the New Year and of course, here in New Zealand it is the holiday season. I don't know about other Southern Hemisphere countries but in New Zealand the main focus is the summer holiday. On National Radio the other day there was a member of the afternoon show guest panel who mentioned one of his pet hates and I must say I can agree with him. In November we celebrate Guy Fawkes night with fireworks and such like. Why on earth New Zealand celebrates Guy Fawkes I have no idea, there isn't a revolutionary or anarchistic tendency to be found anywhere, but still it is an excuse to let off a few fireworks. In years past fireworks were on sale for quite a period of time before and after Guy Fawkes night but due to pressure groups this got restricted to 4 days before and including Guy Fawkes night. Now back to the Christmas pet hate. The guest speaker mentioned how the New Zealand public have taken to that quite well so we should ban the use of the word Christmas until the 1st of December. That way we wouldn't be assaulted by a barrage of advertising for Christmas from all those money grabbing people who have turned a Christian festival into the largest retail festival of the year. I'm inclined to agree with this speaker. We even have supposed intelligent people saying that the real meaning of Christmas is giving. What? I thought it was all about the birth of Jesus, nothing more, nothing less. Having said that only Christians should be interested in the event, not every Tom, Dick or Harry from every religion there is. If we look back further then the Christmas story is one invented by the church to replace the Mid Winter festivals of old and the Northern and Southern hemispheres would have celebrated that at the appropriate time. That is what we need to get back to. Let the Christians celebrate Christmas and the birth of Jesus. Do not make that an excuse for excessive spending that has nothing at all to do with the religious festival. That would make more sense for all of mankind. With Christmas being mid summer in the southern hemisphere everything occurs together. The Christmas event flows on into the annual holiday season and that in effect means that after late January the working people must work for 11 months before the next long break from work. In New Zealand we also have anniversary days. These are public holidays that belong to a region, for example Wellington Anniversary, Auckland Anniversary etc and these are Mondayized days to create a long weekend and celebrate the anniversary of that particular location. There are 12 of these in total, so if you worked around the country you could find on an extra 12 days of the year that the region you were in was in effect closed! My thought is to do away with the anniversary day, combine them all together by legislation and create a two week break in July for all workers as an entitlement. In the Northern Hemisphere, take Britain for example, you get 25 days annual leave and most large places of work, factories, government departments etc generally either close or run a skeleton staff over the two weeks surrounding Christmas and New Year. Then in the summer months workers take their annual leave. This means that the working public get two good breaks per year with the intervening months broken up with Easter and some sort of solstice public holiday at the opposite end of the year. This is a much more sensible arrangement. So back to Christmas. Turn it back into the religious festival it is supposed to be. Ban all retail outlets and other money grabbing organizations pushing Christmas as a time for wasting large amounts of money and food and bring in a defined break in July for the New Zealand worker. Let's get back to the original celebrations that we have renamed to fit in with "Christian" festivals. Mid Winter, Spring Equinox, Mid Summer, Autumnal Equinox and these would be appropriate to the hemisphere in which you live. Not all the world is Christian, in fact most of it isn't, so why on earth turn the birth of Jesus into such a huge world wide event. The answer to that is corporate greed from all those operating in the retail sector and suppliers to it.

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