It’s not holiday time…


Before we start today’s sermon…


This is a public service announcement for people who haven’t quite worked out where I sit on the whole fabric-of-society food chain thing.


People who have met me laugh.  I don’t know if it’s with me, or at me.  But if they are laughing I have succeeded.  If I haven’t made you laugh, then someone should check your pulse.  If you’re OK, someone should check MY pulse.  Now that you understand my position in the greater scheme of things, I just have to make a comment about the direction of the comments from my last post.  SUCKED IN!!!  My XY-chromosome pair are healthy and almost constantly encouraging me to search out the company of an XX-chromosome carrier.  But in clarifying the nature of yesterday’s spoof entry, I would like to quote from one of the more memorable Seinfeld episodes:  “… not that there’s anything wrong with that.”


And now back to our regular program.


It’s Christmas time.  I have two things to say about Christmas.  The first is sort of serious, the second is frustratingly annoying. 


#1.  Where has the foundation of democratic society gone?  Where has the tolerance and acceptance gone?


It’s not holiday time, it’s Christmas time.  I have read recently in blogs and news articles from various perspectives about people getting up in arms regarding “Christmas”.  Christmas.  Christmas.  Christmas.  Christmas.  Christmas.  The word is not going to hurt anyone.  December is dominated by Christmas.  Not everywhere, but in Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand, USA and every other society that has Christianity as it’s major religion. 


Every society, everywhere in the world has festivals and celebrations that have their foundations in the dominant religion of that country.  No-one would win a popularity contest by going to a country that is predominantly Muslim and complaining about “too much Ramadan”. 


This whole debate all seemed a little bit silly and definitely very distant until today.  Today the problem arrived on my doorstep.  In my country, a country similar in land area to the USA, less than 300 miles from my home a high school principal was forced to provide a written retraction and apology for “excessively” referring to Christmas in the final school newsletter of the year.


Our country is principally Christian.  You either came here voluntarily, knowing it was a Christian society.  Or you came here as a minor and an adult in your family made the decision to emigrate knowing about Christianity being alive and well here.  Or you made an active choice to commence practicing a minority religion.  Or an ancestor made one of those choices.  How you came to be a minority does not matter.  The very fabric of our democratic society is acceptance and tolerance.  Right thinking adults do not fear diversity.


In many societies you either conform or suffer the consequences.  That’s not acceptance or tolerance, that’s prejudice and bigotry.  But you wouldn’t actively seek out a place to live knowing that you would be singled out and persecuted for your religion.  If it was necessary for you to be there, you would be meek and introverted about your religion.  Why would anyone want to stand on a street corner and protest “stop the XYZ celebration because you are offending my ABC beliefs”?  Just quietly go about your business and enjoy the public holiday.


If you drive on the freeway, don’t complain about the fast drivers.  If you jump in the river, don’t complain about all the water and fish touching you.



#2.  My wife got the dreaded phone call today.  Her mother was heading out on the last major shopping expedition and as usual she will be bestowing items of clothing upon the majority of my household.  Everything will fit perfectly because she spends hours on the phone meticulously discussing, confirming and rechecking every measurement of every family member. 


Sadly it’s not the fit that’s the problem.  It’s not even the quality that’s the problem.  The problem is that the woman buys clothes she would wear herself.  She’s in her mid fifties and loves pastels and florals.  My wife is more of a strong colours and block patterns kind of girl.  The kids will accept anything, sort of.  Miss4 shows a preference for pink, so pastel pink will be a guaranteed winner.  Mr7 will smile politely and never wear the inevitably mismatched shorts and Hawaiian print shirt.  Not even as pyjamas.  Mr10 will enthusiastically accept something with horizontal stripes on the pants and vertical stripes on the shirt.  They were obviously bought at 2 different stores without any cross-referencing of the ensemble.


Me.  I’m the lucky one.  I’ll get some sort of self-help book or financial planning book like “How I went from zero to 23 properties in 5 years without borrowing or inheriting”.  Just the thing to help pass the time while sitting on the can contemplating the damage done by the extra serving of that suspicious meat-like substance at the buffet at the family Christmas gathering.


There is always a great present somewhere in the whole mess, but brace yourselves for the inevitable barrage of crap gifts you know your relatives have got in store.



My permanent post script.


If you love your fellow man but aren’t sure how to display your love, visit here to discover how easy it is to help.



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40 Responses to It’s not holiday time…

  1. Tom Stormcrowe says:

    My favorite crap gift was "Billy the Bigmouth Bass", a fake plaque mounted Bass(I don’t know if you have largemouth bass in OZ, but it’s a fish, just in case) that is battery operated and sings songs like "Give me some Water" and "Cool Clear Water" and "Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door". It was especially funny when one of my old friends came over. Yopu have to understand that this friend is a perrenial hippie caught in a timewarp. He was righteously psychedellicized as John Sebastian once put it about his appearance at Woodstock, and when he walked by "Billie the Big Mouthed Bass", the motion sensor of course set him off and the fish started singing "Cool Clear Water"! You can imagine the result on the observer,….. my friend, …..who was lit up on a substance formerly popular at Grateful Dead shows……AKA LSD! The results were absolutely hilarious! It could have been a scene in a Cheech and Chong Movie!::GRIN:: He still calls it my "Devil Fish" to this day, and it’s been 10 years!

  2. Laura says:

    Wow, am i glad you switched topics off of peter allen, I did a search for his fan club to sign you up, and there seems to be NONE. You are the keppeer of the P.A. flame bubby.You get Mrs. OZ to go shopping with her mom. Or you have mrs. oz get the gifts and then tell mom she doesn’t have to worry over the five of you…

  3. Stephen says:

    Hiya Mikey!Finally finished my ‘epic saga’ so now I have some time to go walkabout again.I have to tell ya, your space has always been one of my very favoritest, ever since I ‘discovered’ it.I can always count on you for something that will make me smile, giggle, chuckle or guffaw.Or something that will make me think, reflect, or consider.This post does both. No big surprise there.Thank you.steve

  4. Unknown says:

    I get it now, I’m so embarassed! Your last blog totally SUCKED ME IN! The perpetuation of negitave stereotypes is so funny! What will you blog next, Mike from OZ. You could pretend to be a tap dancing black man or a miserrly Jew! And you’re just kidding around so I"m sure it wontbe offensive.

  5. Laura says:

    First….a serious note.Here, here on the whole "holiday" thing! Lord! Just when you think there is more acceptance and toleration…I just don’t get it. Hey, I’m all for everyone practicing whatever religion they hold (so long as it brings no one harm) and celebrating all events that come with it. But I agree with you totally….you don’t have to do as the Romans do, but for crying out loud! Must everyone be so darn touchy? How can it possibly offend someone that folks believe something that they don’t? Next thing you know kids will sue other kids because one believes in the Tooth Fairy and the other doesn’t, haha! (Not really funny when you think about it). We have so much of that going on here….all of this "politically correct" hooey is getting out of hand. Take "God" out of everything, no manger scenes on government property. I’m no long involved in organized religion but am quite a spiritual person. And I truly believe that it’s a wonderful thing for each human being to hold true to some belief that makes us want to be better people and to bring something positive to our society.Now on to a general comment….right now in Tampa, Florida, US it 59 degrees and rainy. I’ve got to say…you are an abosolute HOOT! You made me laugh out loud this morning! You really should be a writer! I’ll definitely keep checking in on your blogs for some great reading. Thanks for the chuckle!

  6. Unknown says:

    You (current and former) track guys/gals are insane.Check out this picture from velonews: picture is towards the bottom of the page. Brutal. That’s gonna hurt. What a tangled mass of machines and humans.Christmas issue: I agree, mostly. I don’t say "Merry Christmas" to people whom I know to be athiest/agnostic, but I do expect them to say "Merry Christmas" to me. I’ve always felt really guilty about not liking gifts I have recieved, but the truth is, I’ve only ever recieved a couple really good gifts.Botched

  7. JC says:

    NOTICE TO ALLprayer vigil for MuMo…see my space or her comment box for details. PLEASE LET US PRAY FOR OUR DEAR FRIEND.IN HIS NAMEJC

  8. Fat Cyclist says:

    gift shopping idea: everybody can find something they want at i have never not appreciated an gift certificate, and i don’t know anybody else who has either.if the gift-recipient has an ipod, probably can’t go wrong with an itunes gift certificate either.

  9. Aisha says:

    Really interesting entry *two thumbs up*Have a excellent week!!!TTFN:)

  10. Single says:

    You can’t really turn down a gift. Anyway, what would christmas be without Aunt Gertrude buying you a nice sweater with jingle bells, a puff paint elf, and a pair of black spandex pants, that at best you can’t wear until next year, and, hopefully, never at all. Nice site. you’re funny. You did make me laugh. Which I thank you for. I am in finals right now and in need of laughter.

  11. BIg Mike In Oz says:

    StormcrowePrime – it’s fun to watch chenically enhanced people make idiots of themselves.Peng – There’s 150 miles between us and them, just the way I like it. It’s only Christmas where it is a problem. But it’s worth it for the peace and quiet the other 11 months of the year.Pilgrim – So does that make me a comedian to the thinking man or an intellectual for the perpetually giggling buffoon.KalmPanick – I’m here purely to filter society for "the man".LvnDancing2 – that’s some cold, cold weather you’re having. I’m waking each day at 5am with the sun in my eyes and the thermometer outside already around 72F.Botched – there’s nothing like the smell of melting lycra and flesh at a Saturday afternoon track race. Most of our gifts are semi-OK, purely because the most heard phrase in November is "what do you want for Christmas?"Fatty – The gift certificate is a double-edged sword. You can choose your own gift, combine vouchers for more buying power, even add money of your own to get over the line with a big ticket item, but the gift certificate puts a bare naked number on the value of the relationship. With a regular gift there is always the hope/doubt about the true value. I-tunes, now you’re getting warmer.little lady 417 – OW! Sorry, I just got a thumb in the eye.SINGLEINSAINTLOUIS – We don’t turn them down, we just turn our noses up. And what’s wrong with spandex pants.

  12. Unknown says:

    Mike, you write so well. I wish I could organize my thoughts as well as you do. I agree totally with the christmas thing!I wonder why women of the age 50 and older ALWAYs buy clothes they would wear! You would think they would remember getting things from their grandmothers they wouldn’t wear! lol great topic!!

  13. Fat says:

    Christmas topic: Personally I think it’s annoying people complaining about other people’s beliefs. I hope I don’t offend anyone by saying this but I don’t really care what other people believe and celebrate. All that matters to me is what I believe and what I celebrate. I wouldn’t care if the US decided it was prominently Jewish and had Hanukah everything everywhere. Truly, it wouldn’t bother me. I celebrate Christmas and that’s what matters to me. I think that would save a lot of people a lot of time if they thought that way. Side note: Has anyone else heard about "The Snowman"? Now that disturbs me, when people take something nice and innocent and turn it into something bad. Maybe I’ll put a post up explaining "The Snowman." But to give you a short explaination as to what it means is:Snow = Cocain and Man = Dealer or just drug dealer. It’s the "newest" thing among the younger people in the city.~ Fat Chick

  14. Amber says:

    THANK YOU for addressing the Christmas thing. I blogged this very subject a few days ago and received many positive responses on the matter. Too bad it’s the MINORITY who is raising all the fuss over it….

  15. Unknown says:

    Interesting times on the beech in Oz these days, I guess.

  16. Margaret says:

    I agree. How can people be offended by Santa? I do understand the situation with children more than I understand in the case of adults. My best friend growing up was Jewish and felt very left out of the whole Christmas thing. I think the thing to do is to come up with strategies to help children feel included, not to erase as many references to Christmas as possible. Every year she would come over and help us decorate our Christmas tree, and we went over to her house and lit the Hanukah candles with her family. It was multicultural and also a lot of fun.Kids who don’t celebrate Christmas are not going feel ANY less left out if we don’t talk minimize our use of the word Christmas. Its all kids who DO celebrate it talk about anyway.

  17. Suzanne says:

    Hey Big MPeople should either celebrate or ignore a holiday. But leave off attempting to ruin it for everyone else. Now you should DEFINITLY dance in your undies with Maraca’s…Especially if your 270lbs! Thats sure to make everyones year a memorable one! Your Kids will remeber it FOREVER!!! 2005? Oh, yeah dad and the maracas!Now the mother in-law needs some of these for Christmas

  18. BIg Mike In Oz says:

    mspigtoyou – It often takes 2 or 3 goes to get things this tidy, and that is valuable time. I live on about 5 hours sleep a night so I’ve got a 2-3 hour advantage over most folks. I think they get forgetful over 50, and can’t remember the torture.FFC – I agreed. I believe that Scotch is the nectar of heaven and Bourbon is below rodent urine, but a friend drinks Bourbon straight and gags on Scotch. It’s not something to start WWIII over.Crazybloggincanuck – I’m in the silent majority, as are most mature, stable adults.Al – Everyone, Al is talking about our little riots in Sydney this week. The same as Christmas, it’s a few zealots that are making all the noise (and mess). A few hundred poorly informed, hot headed idiots looking for a fight. Unfortunately they are taking sides based on ethnic lines. It’s just a bunch of young bucks having a turf war.MEA – In Australia it seems to not be the minority religions that are making the noise but rather the athiests and agnostics. They were already shouting abuse at the Mormon door knockers and throwing beer bottles at the Muslems and Jews. Now they have found leverage against the Christians as well. Again, it is a minority. They just make a lot of noise.Suzanne – Exactly. Christmas involves food, no-one wants me dancing in my underwear when they’re trying to eat. Or before, or after, or ever. I hope you aren’t suggesting that my mother-in-law wear one of those things. EEEWWWWWW.

  19. David says:

    Anyone who thinks that a non-Muslim would never think, in a Muslim country, "Too Much Ramadhan" has clearly never lived in one. You are correct in the spirit of what you say (no one thinks it should be more heterogenous); but the the constant refrain of all non-Muslims from Day 1 to Day 30 is "way, WAY too damn much Ramadhan!" Trust em on this years – 8 years – 8 Ramadhans – which was 9 too many! You will be pleased to know that in Saudi, Christmas was celebrated in many ways. One year the International Tribune arrived with every occurrence of the word "Christmas" blacked out. The family sections of restaurants were visited by the mutawein (religious police – kind of the Baptists of Saudi) and identity cards examined to insure that anyone at a single table were of the same family (and thus were dining out, not celebrating Xmas). I am not a Christian, nor a subscriber to any of that kind of thing, but I resent deeply the campaign against Christmas. I get Christmas gifts – and that includes for Muslim and Jewish friends unless they make clear it would offend. I send Christmas cards. I have gotten Christmas cards from Muslims, Hindus and Jews (and Christians and pagans – does pagan take a capital ‘P’?). i have also sent some Eid cards (haven’t a clue which day to sent cards to Hindus). What I resent most, is there are real areas where someone should stand against theocracy taking over, and people are wasting capital on this shit. I LIKE creches, Xmas trees, carols and the rest. The curse of every group is that band on the fringe, heartless, humorless, crabbed – they run things like the Inquisition. Just because (for a change) there is no god behind it doesn’t mean they aren’t exactly the same set of people.

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