Let's have a look at that "holiday" guide: best holiday songs, holiday films, holiday greeting cards, party food, holiday health, holiday travel and even a holiday survival guide. We're all ready! But ready for what? Reading the Globe and Mail you would have absolutely no idea what holiday we might be talking about as the word "Christmas" appears nowhere! Is that word illegal now? Or just distasteful? Perhaps they are actually referring to hanukkah instead? Or Chinese New Year?
"Holiday" is of course a combination of the two words "holy" and "day" so etymologically it refers to a religious observance. You may not know this, apparently the Globe is unaware, but for a couple of thousand years Christendom, that is that part of the world that includes Western Europe and the Western hemisphere, has celebrated this time of year because of the birth of Christ. Yes, that's right, and even though the season has been largely secularized into gift-giving, feasts and parties, there is still a religious subtext to the season. Not to me personally, mind you, I was raised an atheist. But I am aware that Christmas exists and that it has a long history--not to mention a lot of great music. But for the Globe and Mail, a deep and thorough amnesia has set in and, like those villagers in One Hundred Years of Solitude, the name itself has disappeared entirely. Go ahead, try and search for "Christmas" on the Globe and Mail site. Or even "hanukkah".
The erasing of history is a favorite tactic of revolutionaries, ostriches and other idiots. If we just never say the word "Christmas" then we can never be accused of being biased towards, or even knowing, our own cultural history. It is no longer enough for religions like Islam or Hinduism or Buddhism to be allowed to freely celebrate their traditions. No, the dominant religion of Western Civilization, Christianity (and Judaism as well) has to be actually suppressed, removed from any presence in the public sphere--at least in places like Canada. In Mexico, all the Christian traditions seem to be going strong.
Bear in mind that, as I said, I was raised and seem still to be, an atheist. My recognition of and understanding of Christianity is largely as a historical and cultural force, not as a personal faith. But it is absurd to the point of inanity that the Globe and Mail would erase the existence of Christmas in favor of a bland, neutral, featureless "holiday" season. I hope they choke on their crostini.
So, in the spirit of punching back twice as hard, let's listen to Bach's Christmas Oratorio (or do I mean "Holiday" Oratorio?). Here is Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Concentus Wein with the first part: