Sunday, November 30, 2008

Varying Absurdities

Abu Tulip writes:

Sometimes I get frustrated by the absurdities I see around us in our adopted home. However, it's a strange sort of comfort to know there are still plenty of strange goings-on back in America. Now that Thanksgiving is over and we can jump to the next holiday (how 'bout savoring the moment a little, people?) the Christmas season is "officially" here, with all the incongruities and insanities it brings.

It's probably not even worth commenting upon the tragic death of the Walmart employee who was trampled by the Friday morning mob and died of a consequent heart attack. What kind of insanity leads to such a situation that there even is such a mob, and that they could actually create a situation that would trigger a fatal heart attack?

The other absurdity is the retailers' reluctance to acknowledge why so many people are shopping and keeping their businesses afloat. You can take a look at this list to see which retailers are afraid of offending a few potential customers and which ones are willing to acknowledge Christmas.

Now the one that caught my attention was Honey Baked Ham. The link says:
"Report: “HOLIDAY was written everywhere!! Nothing about CHRISTMAS. I asked and was told the usual ‘we don't want to offend anyone.’”
Let's pause for a moment to consider this. THEY SELL HAM!!!!
With all due respect to Jews, I don't think they are sitting around the family table for Hanukkah drooling over a honey baked ham! And I certainly don't expect our neighbors to be enjoying ham for their Eid-Aladha celebrations next week. Jews and Muslims do not eat pork, and the coming Muslim holiday involves sacrificing a lamb.

Maybe it's different for them, but I know what it's like to live as a religious minority, and a minority with more challenges than any minorities in the US have. There is religious tension at times here, but when it comes to holidays I feel like everyone is very cordial and accommodating toward those of the other faith. We visit Muslims for their holidays and say كل عام وأنت بخير kul 3aam wa inta bikhayr, or (loosely translated) " may goodness be to you all the year" . On Christmas they say the same. Muslims even acknowledge the importance of Jesus' birth (they consider Jesus a prophet of God, even though most know very little about His life and teachings). Nobody seems offended by expressions of holiday good will, and we don't expect anyone to be ashamed of their faith. I don't get bothered if someone thinks I'm a Muslim and greets me likewise during their holidays. They're just trying to be friendly.

Um Tulip agrees:
Just yesterday I went to a Christmas workshop at Oliver's school. We made Christmas crafts to sell at the bazaar and also cute lamb cards for Eid Aladha. Here are a couple pics of the crafts the kids made.


Anonymous said...

Craziness. I want none of it. We are just saying NO to gifts this year. It's enough! We have WAY more than we could ever need. We are offering homemade gifts, and gifts of time. Let's get back to focusing on Jesus. I agree. Thanksgiving get's blown over to get the holiday that involves gifts... I think I feel a blog post coming on! :)
PS - you guys look great in the pics we got on email. Blessings and health to you all.

a.k.a. Mr. Jeff said...

I've actually read several reports of people getting injured/dying as a result of "Black Friday" events. Does anyone really need an HD TV that badly?