Friday, December 08, 2006

Christmas is big in Canada - or rather, i should say "the holidays" are big in Canada. One of the distinct cultural differences that i notice about Canada and our colonizer, the UK, is our different approaches to the festive time of year.

In Canada, we tend to be more inclusive, politically correct, and fret over the anxieties of wishing someone a "merry Christmas". Christmas sorry - the holidays - in Canada are all about unbridled consumerism, overzealous expectations, and familial alienation. It's all about shopping, spending money you don't have, eating stuffed birds with family members, and exchanging gifts. Some people even chose to go to church, although i'm not too certain as to why.

In the UK, Christmas is HUGE - and i don't mean the holidays; i mean CHRISTMAS = the celebration of our Lord baby Jesus' birth. No sane Scottish person gives a shit about Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or Festivus. Now, that's not to say that Scottish people are actually interested in honouring the baby Jesus' birthday but rather, the Scots are only interested in it so far as it is an excuse to:

1. party
2. drink

And those are two excuses i can totally get behind.

The holidays sorry, CHRISTMAS is unabashedly...well, Christmas here. Everyone assumes everyone else celebrates it and hey, the way these people celebrate it, well, i can see why. In Canada, we tend to overeat during "the holidays". In Scotland, they tend to over drink.

Another difference i have noticed are something referred to as: Work Christmas Nights Out/Parties. This is a concept wherein you and people from your work get dressed up in fancy clothes, pay £40 to eat some overpriced meal, get wasted, and do something you will regret on Monday morning at the office. In Toronto, work places don't really celebrate Christmas - again, the whole PC thing - and if you're lucky, your work might sponsor a Holiday lunch. But that's it.

Who will have the number 1 Christmas song on the charts is another concern over here. That and how many drinks you can get down you without tossing up your Marks and Spencers mince pies, of course.

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