Loving the Holidaze!
Christmass is coming, and I will probably be spending it in Beantwon with my friends this year. Sweeeeeeeeeeeet! I always liked Christmass: There are sweets, gifts and decorations involved. What's not to love? I was always jealous of my christian friends for getting to celebrate it, because coming from a muslim family, you don't get to celebrate christmass. My argument was always like this: "ok, we don't have to believe in Jesus or anything, but can we still get gifts? I want more toys, damn it!" I was a rather..unpleasent greedy child, whose parents, so afraid of spoiling him, told him NO to his face frequently, with no regards to how that will affect his fragile little child pysche! But, you see, I wanted toys and gifts. And as a muslim child, what you get in the muslim holidays is..well..money. They gave you money in boths Eid's: it was called "Eidiyah" and it was never enough to compensate you for all the toys you wanted to get. And it was almost never given to you freely. Hell, most of the time you had to chase your relatives down, with hands open, demanding that they give you your Eidiyah. The best time to do such a thing was usually after they had tea and cookies and in front of as many people as possible, so you made sure they were comfortable and fed by your parents, and thus would feel really guilty about not forking some money and really embaressed to give you a small Eidiyah. After they forked it over, you had to do the rounds and use the fact that everyone else sitting there as well didn't wanna seem like a cheapskate either, so they give you their share. It was beautiful. What wasn't beautiful was the fact that after collecting all this money, your mother promptly would take it away from you so she can "save it" for you, so you don't spend it all on candy and "ruin your teeth". So after doing all of that effort, the fruit of my labor was usually taken from me, and if I am lucky I would get 1/4 of the money back. I never saw the other 3/4 of the money. They apparently saved it in such a well hidden place that the money was never found again. Yeah, right! Anyway...... My point is, I love christmass. I actually love all religious holidays, cause they usually involve food, drinks and festivities. The only reason why I get slightly peeved at Ramadan is the fact that the government prevents all egyptians from drinking at bars that whole month. Because, you know, it's an islamic holy month, so egyptians shouldn't drink. But, you see, muslim saudis can go to a bar and drink. They are not Egyptians, so we don;t really care about saving them from sinfully drinking alcohol during Ramadan. Blahhh. I am mostly a secualrist because I hate it when I am prevented from doing something that everyone else is allowed to do because of a religious reason. I hate being forced to do something. Give me the option, dude. Let me chose and stuff. Or at least be consistent. Either there is no drinking for all people, or no drinking for all muslims, or drinking for everybody. But don't give foreigners more rights than you give Egyptians in the name of Islam. Don't force me, or people who aren't muslims but are egyptians to succumb to your traditions and not get drunk. That ain't right! And this is why, whenever I hear of some people- who call themselves secularists- in the US complaining that Christmass is being forced on them because of a public Christmass Tree or Baby Jesus display, I get pissed off. That's not Christmass being forced on them. Christmass forced on them would be them having to buy a tree, buy gifts, have a baby jesus display planted on their front yard because the government said so. That's being forced to do something against your will. What the other people do, as long as they don't force their views on you or force to do or not do something, is their own damn business. Not to mention, you never hear them complaining about the Christmass sale events there. It's never "stop the chirstmass discount event!", it's always " the 'christ' in 'Christmass' offends me". But hey, keep the discounts. We like the cheap stuff. The funny thing is, the anti-Christmass secularists in the US have an unlikely ally: Islamic and Jewish leaders in Australia. They, too, are demanding the abolition of Christmass, either for lack of inclusiveness or for the fact that it's becoming over-commercialized. Imagine that, Christmass brought the secularists, the jews and the muslims to agree on something. It's a miracle. Sure, what brought them together is their effort to piss off the christians, but who care about that? Good work everybody. I don't know. I am not offended by it. I like that it's commercial, because it means I get good deals on stuff I want to buy. I like that. I like Santa because 1) he hands out gifts, 2) he is jolly even though he is fat, and 3) he knows where all the bad girls live. So in the immortal words of Foamy the squirrel: Leave Christmass alone!