A Very Tolerant Christmas
This Christmas, the open society is endangered not only from without, by the likes of ISIS, but also by (admittedly far smaller) threats at home. There are other forms of intolerance, infinitely less horrifying than that of jihadist bigots, that kill no one but demean us all.
LONDON – Christmas is coming – and has been, it seems, since mid-autumn. And just in case there was any sign of flagging, we now have Black Friday, an export from the United States, when we are all encouraged to drink deep of the modern Christmas spirit and shop until we drop.
In my old-fashioned way, I rather disapprove of celebrating “God rest you merry merchants” day. Since when were we happy for Christmas to dawn in early November? Festivals should happen only when they turn up on the calendar. When I was a boy, Christmas arrived on its eve, December 24. We went to mass at midnight. Afterward, my dad carried me home.
We woke up the following morning to open presents and prepare for our turkey lunch. The day after Christmas was a public holiday with cold turkey and ham to sustain us. Then it was back to work on December 27. That was that. Christmas was over, until December 24 the following year.