I hate “the holidays” Monday, Dec 14 2009 

Ok, so I’ve been in the United States and America for under two days and I’ve already had my sickening fill of “the holidays”. The shopstaff greet you “happy holidays”, Old Navy advertises “holiday cards”, all channels at all hours constantly play “holiday movies”. It’s utterly saturating, and the lengths to which they go in avoiding the word “Christmas” are unbelievable. Holiday cards, carols, traditions and trees simply don’t exist.

As an Australian I get a lot of American television, and thus had heard of the “war on Christmas” – as well as the credible claims that this was just the hallucination of “red under the bed” reactionaries. Now that I’m here though, reading the billboards and seeing the ads, I’m utterly convinced. There really is a war on Christmas.

Santo NiƱo, have mercy on us.

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Minor jubilations Wednesday, Dec 2 2009 

Sunset

When I was a teenager I went with some friends from school on a day trip to the Blue Mountains, just west of Sydney. We were organising members of the school’s “Christian society” called Students Alive (or “STIVE”). At the time I felt rather awkward, because my friends were awe-struck by the majesty of God’s creation, while I (in typically inept cradle Catholic style) just boggled at them, thinking “what’s so great about trees and rocks?”.

That was about seven years ago, and since then I have become a sort of man. (more…)