Monday, December 23, 2013

Maybe I am not overtly 'religious,' but I do like to see Christmas decorations in our streets and malls---BUT----

Have you seen some of the over-the-top 'decorations' that festoon the streets, buildings and malls in some cities that owe little to the 'Christian' tradition. Take for example, Dubai, Hong Kong, Shanghai and even a city like Jakarta, which although having a significant Christina population, is predominantly Islamic. These cities are ablaze with colour and lights, creating the impression that they celebrate Christmas in a manner that leaves the city of Auckland looking like a very poor relative indeed. One has to search out a more 'Christmassy' scene in Auckland; probably arriving at Franklin Road in Ponsonby or other scattered attempts to celebrate the festive season. Sure, you can find the odd shop that does its best to remind us of the season and it is as much about attracting our wallets (which of course it is in the cities aforementioned) as it is about anything else.
Drive down Queens Street, but don't expect to be uplifted by the experience, even less  suddenly be impacted by the fabulous decorations (NOT!) to open your wallet or even feel the real 'spirit' of Xmas. There is only one redeeming feature of a Xmas in Auckland--at least we have not succumbed to that sad PC behaviour that emanates from the USA and the UK where you must say 'Happy Holidays' rather than Merry Xmas. Oh no---we can't have that---it would offend 'other' religions. What a load of cods-wallop! I am regularly greeted by Hindus and Muslims amongst other religions in NZ who wish me a Merry Xmas, so what gives New York and London?! Let's celebrate all of the festivals that are based on joy or yes, suffering too, but not water down the very roots of a faith or belief system, all in the name of some misguided attempt to be politically sensitive. And yes, I would love to see the big 'boys' of business take a break form merely taking our money and put a bit more back into 'lighting up our beautiful 'queen city.'

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