Columnist and former independent political candidate Kim Huynh is not a huge fan of Christmas, but cares enough about it to be annoyed by moves to make it all as generic as possible by replacing phrases like ‘Merry Christmas’ with the ‘Happy holidays’ or ‘Season’s greetings’.
What I love about Christmas is … I don’t love anything about Christmas, which is not to say, ‘Bah Humbug!’ I appreciate that others love and enjoy it.
In fact, my family arrived in Canberra as refugees four days before the Christmas of 1979. We were taken in by the Ainslie Church of Christ. There are people from that Church whom I love and cherish. And I like going to the Christmas service there.
Wait up, does that mean that I do love Christmas? Mmmm…
What I can say for sure is that I value the spirit and practice of unconditional kindness that makes Christmas so wonderful.
What I love least about Christmas is I’m both intrigued and troubled by the controversies over Christmas salutations and symbols. Thankfully it’s not a huge issue in Australia, but in the US there have been pushes by department stores, schools and some left-leaning states to make Christmas as generic as possible: ‘Happy holidays’ or ‘Season’s greetings’ rather than ‘Merry Christmas’; ‘holiday trees’ not ‘Christmas trees’; and no more nativity scenes or Santas.
I’m an avid supporter of multiculturalism, but can’t see how it’s served by undermining joyous and well-meaning Christian festivities.
My best ever Christmas was … they’ve never been bad, but I can’t think of one that was exceptionally good.
My favourite Christmas song is Mariah Carey’s ‘All I want for Christmas is you’. It’s pretty much been at the top of the Christmas charts since 1994 and plays into a powerful idea that the 1990s was the end of history when it comes to pop culture.
Prior to that there were distinctive Christmas songs (and distinctive music, fashion, architecture and artwork) that exemplified an era and went on to become classics. Consider Bing Crosby’s ‘White Christmas’, John and Yoko’s ‘Happy Xmas (War is Over)’ and Band Aid’s ‘Do they know it’s Christmas?’.
Since the late 1990s, the internet has given us immense choice when it comes to cultural consumption, while also making it difficult to come up with anything new. Now it’s all about mashups, remakes and reboots. So in the absence of major disruption or Western downfall, ‘All I want for Christmas is you’ will be my and our favourite Christmas tune forever.
My favourite Christmas film is … hardly surprising for fellas of my generation: Die Hard. Yippee ki yay Christmas!
I celebrate on Christmas Eve by wrapping presents.
I celebrate on Christmas Day by hanging out with family and friends. I don’t think we’ve come up with a good way to distribute presents to kids. Getting them to open one gift at a time and then give thanks takes too long and seems contrived. Just letting them loose is chaotic and unacceptable. Any tips anyone?
On Boxing Day, I am often happier than I am on Christmas Day. There’s less pressure and still much of the holidays to look forward to. I find that Christmas food, indeed most festive food, is better consumed as leftovers. It’s the only time of the year when I have prawn sandwiches and ham sandwiches in which the ham is thicker than the bread. I wish it was Boxing Day all year round.
The gift I’d most like to give this Christmas is a poem.
For Christmas this year I’d like a poem (not the one mentioned above).
Pictured above: Kim’s family circa Christmas 1979. Kim is already uncomfortable and whinging.
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