Monday, December 23, 2013

Run-up to Christmas - December 23

By Patrick

It's Christmas time! We love it! The time of the year that even someone like Sarah Palin is not able to mess up for us, as hard as she tries! Kathleen and I are travelling this Christmas, and it already started very well. Fortunately we have good access to the internet, too. So we are ready for the run-up to Christmas!

There is one item I would like to share with you all- yesterday at Amsterdam Schiphol airport, there was a wonderful moment when an excellent female vocal group called "The Triolettes", three singers who specialize in classic swing arrangements, were singing Christmas songs for the travellers in the transit area. (UPDATE: This also was a TV-news story in the Netherlands). I made a sweet little recording, which you will surely enjoy, with 2 1/2 songs, so to speak. The little kids enjoyed it as well, as you can see! At the end, they sing "Let it Snow" and "Silent Night":

So that was a really nice surprise. Our travel went smoothly, we have bought our presents (just need to wrap them), and so we are almost ready for Christmas day!

Here at Politicalgates, politics is never far away. And did we ever have a more "political" Christmas than this year, what with all the fuss over a "white Santa" and with Sarah Palin neatly dividing the country into the real American god-fearing believers and the unreal American ungodly atheists?

Interestingly, a new poll was published a few days ago which clearly shows that for Americans, neither the "Happy Holidays" greeting nor the "white Santa" are actually a big deal. It turns out the 75% of Americans are not bothered whether they are greeted with "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays", and only 32% of Americans believe that Santa was "white."

PPP reports:

Christmas brings Americans together. 87% have a positive opinion of it to only 7% with a negative view, and 85-89% of Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike see it in a positive manner. (...)

Perhaps one reason Americans are less concerned now about the War on Christmas is that they're really not that concerned about the whole Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays thing. Certainly they prefer Merry Christmas- 51% say that's their greeting of choice to 8% for Happy Holidays and 41% who say it doesn't make a difference. But few Americans are actually offended by being told Happy Holidays- just 22% are with 75% saying it's not a big deal.

Of course there's a new issue dividing us this holiday season, and that's whether Santa is 'verifiably white.' Only 32% of Americans think he is, while 36% say he is not and another 32% say they aren't sure. The high level of indecision may be owing to only 43% of Americans saying they believe in Santa Claus to 50% who don't. Those numbers are down from 52% saying they believed in him a year ago, and surely some sociologist can explain to us what happened this year to make us lose our faith.

Sorry, Sarah! But we still wish you a Merry Christmas as well as Happy Holidays! :-)

In order to get into the Christmas spirit, there is one classic which is just great every Christmas - "Do They Know it's Christmas" by Band Aid from 1984:

Brings back memories, doesn't it?

We have to go to buy food for the Christmas dinner now, as we want to get this out of the way before dinner  with friends this evening. I conclude this little post with a great cartoon I found, featuring Sarah and Bill - see you again soon!

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