The night before the holiday we don’t mention

I had a lovely time last night at my grandkids’ school Christmas show, which was actually called Winter Fest because you can’t say Christmas in public anymore without getting the PC police all up in your business.

Talk about a contrast; one of my girls played an elephant and the other played a kolea (which had a much more pleasant singing voice than I expected after some of the riffs I’ve heard around here).

It was very nicely done, with hula, Hawaiian legends and segments taken from “The Lion King” and “Rent,” but scarcely a mention of the 800-pound holiday in the room.

The sanitization has gone too far, and I can understand why it ticks Christians off. Nobody would blink at a slipped mention of Hannukah or Kwanzaa, and you can invoke the Dalai Lama until the cows come home. Putting a lot of religious dogma in these shows would be inappropriate, but the avoidance of mentioning Christmas at all is ridiculous.

I’m not a Christian myself, but I enjoyed it a lot when my grandson was at the school six or seven years ago and the shows ended with a UH music professor coming out to play Christmas carols on the piano while the audience sang along. Beautiful songs, beautiful moments.

And to my knowledge, nobody complained.

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20 Comments on “The night before the holiday we don’t mention”

  1. Capitol -ist/WassupDoc Says:

    Blame the Religious Right for making it wrong to talk about Christmas.

  2. zzzzzing Says:

    No, I blame you, Cap. You & all the other ‘pc’ people, including all the ‘irreligious left” who shudder at the mere mention of ‘something’ that might offend ‘someone.’ This ‘pc’ crowd has gone too far. Time to grow some hair & lighten up. A person doesn’t have to be a Christian to appreciate Christmas, as Dave has illustrated. Some of the fondest memories in my childhood (and as an adult) are of Christmas: the carols, the loving, the giving… the lights, sights & sounds… Such a pity, you folks don’t even know what you’re missing.

    Regardless of all the backlash, I wish a very “Merry Christmas” to all of you – grinches, pc, or not. 🙂

  3. WooWoo Says:

    Fully agree, Dave. I have fond memories of elementary school Christmas events. The enduring quest of the pc police is making us into a society where we have nothing in common.

  4. Earl of Sandwich Says:

    I’ll first say that I am NOT a very religious person. However, I recognize Christmas as a religious holiday, and respect it’s celebration for what it was intended – recognition of the birth of Christ.

    All of the commercialization is what makes me sick. Great, turn the birth of Christ (if he exists) into an opportunity to guilt people into buying a Lexus for their spouse. People have gotten so caught up in the materialism that the holiday really means nothing. Now, before you say that the gift giving tradition is also in recognition of the gifts brought by the wise men, I’ll say I agree with you on that point – my thing is it’s just gotten out of hand and far away from what the original intent.

    Cap/Doc, I usually agree with you on a lot of things, but in this case, I think you’re wrong about the religious right being responsible for a secular backlash. On the other hand, you folks who would blame the “PC Police” really ought to remember that it’s still a holiday, and you can still celebrate it the way you want to. If I had my way I’d take the holiday away altogether. How’s that for a grinch?

  5. Michael Says:

    I will bet that no one really Knows when Jesus was actually born. December 25th is not his birth date. Children are taught more of Santa Claus than Jesus the main reason we celebrate Christmas.

    In Japan many just celebrate Christmas because it is a joyful holiday. Japanese celebrate for many things. People become human for a day, then turn into Scrooge the next. Christians in Japan at one time were prosecuted.

    Wonder what would have happened if there were no Protestants who protested the Church in England. There would be no America and some of us would not be here. Many would be English under rule of the Queen of England. There would be no Americans but Native Indians who are the true Americans. Native Hawai’ians would be in Japans power if History went its course. So it does become a Religious thing, whether one agrees or not. For this Americans should celebrate. Christian or by other religion.
    The freedom to practise the religion they believe in.

  6. Capitol -ist/WassupDoc Says:

    Since I wrote my first comment after being up for 19 hours, I clearly did not explain my reasoning.

    The Religious Right have made it their goal that they want a Christian Nation and that all public institutions should be bathed in Christianity. As of this writing, they do not have a majority in office to push through their agenda, but they are still very, very noisy and often influential at the local level.

    As a backlash to that, the decision has been made by many public officials – and later business decision-makers – to remove Christianity as the primary religious underpinning from the holiday season so that folks who hold other beliefs will not feel uncomfortable and even guilty.

    That is why I blame the Religious Right for killing traditional Christmas celebrations. However, I still love the reindeer and the holly and, when I could still eat them, the Christmas cookies and candy canes and the Christmas concerts and singing carols.

    I do agree with those who are unhappy with the commercialization of the season. The last time I bought a fancy gift in a store was when I was in my early teens. Ever since, my gifts have been home- made, edible or green, gift certificates for personal services, donations to charity, etc.

    I grew up in a family with a Jewish father & Roman Catholic mother so we used to have a “Hannukah bush” every year until my mother died. Her staunch Irish Cathlic parents never forgave her, but my dad’s parents went on with their lives & their beliefs – including accepting her, my brothers and me into the family.

    On a somewhat-related political subject: Did you see the Star-Advertiser’s endorsement for Todd Apo’s seat? A guy who has eight birth children who denies climate change as being real!!! Do we really need someone like that on the City Council?

    The editorial argument is dead wrong that his beliefs are unimportant since he probably won’t have to deal with climate change and rising seas on the Council.

    Leaking sewers, potable water supplies, eroding City beaches, greenhouse gas emissions, bus purchases, skyrocketing electricity bills, shipping trash overseas, landfills, renewable energy permits – these and many others are all City issues – and they are all directly tied to climate change.

    Furthermore, he’s an unofficial member of the Tea Party and strongly supports Limbaugh, Palin and Beck both for their beliefs as well as their quality of characters.

    The Apo replacement will be chair of the Parks and Community Services Committee.

    Finally, read his press releases. The guy is a terrible writer – mixes up it’s & its, can’t spell or use spell-check, or grasps that singular nouns take singular verbs.

    It’ll be interesting to see how his colleagues will react if the guy gets elected.

  7. Manoak Says:

    Aloha Dave,

    Mahalo for keeping the “Spirit of Festivus” tradition of the “airing of differences” alive.

    All the best to all Dave’s fans and fellow travelers.

  8. Richard Gozinya Says:

    I urge you all to work towards returning Xmas to its real meaning; that is, the opportunity to buy cheap flat screen televisions.

  9. shaftalley Says:

    mele kalikimaka

  10. Will Says:

    Good post, Dave. Merry Christmas, my friend.

  11. Dave I disagree with you in this one. Christmas is a deeply religiously holiday despite its secular commercialization. I do not believe that Christmas celebrations belong in public venues such as public schools. Christmas decorations and carols can be beautiful and most people, including myself (I am Jewish) do enjoy such festive decorations and songs, provided they are strictly secular (take Rudolph the Rednose Reindear or Chesnuts Roasting on an open fire). I even have Andy Williams’ Christmas album which I love to listen to. But when religious Christmas celebrations are forced on all people in public venues (such as public schools) that is just not appropriate in my opinion. It can also come across as very arrogant on the part of conservative Christians to assume that everyone celebrates their holiday and appreciated being wished “Merry Christmas.” I certainly don’t go around wishing people Happy Passover, Hannukah, or Rosh Hashannah (Jewish New Years).

    Again, Christmas is a religious holiday first.

  12. Michael Says:

    Gesundheit. God Bless You.

  13. Lurch Says:

    Merry Christmas Dave. Thanks for a thoughtful post.

  14. zzzzzing Says:

    Alan Spector, you poor, poor soul. My heart aches for you, sir. Such anger & vitriol for such simple joys of the season… a true-life grinch of epic proportions. You’d make an outstanding Bob Cratchit in the play “A Christmas Carol.” Have you thought about taking up acting?

  15. WooWoo Says:

    I can only speak for myself, but if you were to wish me a happy Hannukah then I would happily appreciate your warm thoughts. It matters not if I attribute no personal or religious significance to a certain day on the calendar. The important thing is that you offer genuine good wishes towards me; I see not the usefulness in quibbling over labels and dates.

  16. @woowoo and zzzzz
    Please re-read my post. I never said I don’t enjoy the christmas season. I attend many Christmas parties and enjoy listening to Christmas music. I am even married to someone who was baptized in the Church of England.

    My only point is that religion should not be forced on people in public settings. Not Christianity, not Judaism (my faith), not Islam, not Buddhism, etc.

    And to you zzzz, where you detect anger or vitriol, I do not know. As for my “soul”, it is just fine. Is it that hard for you to understand that other faiths have their own holiday seasons that are just as special to us as Christmas may be to you? For me, I look forward to the Jewish High Holy Days and those are some of my most happiest and fondest childhood memories along with Hannukah. Wonderful times with my immediate and extended family.

    So Happy Hannukah, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year.

  17. Michael Says:

    The less said the better. Comments, made by one or two who comment, will always contradict what was said in the past, the present and ever so in the future to come back and haunt them.

    It would seem if one or two were told Aloha, they would get angry since these two don’t know the true meaning of Aloha. Not their religious belief to practise Aloha.

  18. WooWoo Says:


    “My only point is that religion should not be forced on people in public settings.”

    All cultures are infused with religious traditions. Christian traditions are intertwined with American culture. Where does religion end and tradition begin? It can be a sticky wicket.

    One story as to the origin of the Chinese Zodiac has Buddha calling animals to him before departing the mortal world. The twelve attendees each got a year named after them. When a teacher puts up a poster in his classroom saying that it’s the year of the rabbit, would you construe this as forcing Buddhism on the class?

    How do you feel about the teaching of Hawaiian history and culture in classrooms? Why is it acceptable to teach our public school children about Lono, Ku, Maui, and Pele? These are Gods, my friend. I say let’s teach them about Lono, Ku, Maui, and Pele… and Christmas, and the Chinese Zodiac.

  19. zzzzzing Says:

    It’s ok Alan, I’m not worried about you, don’t fret! We’re all souls who have their own direction to go in – just glad to hear you’re not as angry as it seemed. Sometimes typed text doesn’t translate as well as we’d like it to.
    Woo has some pretty good points. Also, I see various cultural beliefs & different faiths intertwined into our Island home. Some of it I don’t understand, but hey, it’s minor in the large scheme of my life. No one is forcing me to accept it. Quite frankly, I don’t like Santa Claus or like to hear songs about him played ANYwhere, but I don’t sweat it that you or others may just LOVE him & that’s what you want to hear. I get on with my business & let it pass like yet another cloud in the sky of my life.

    Anyway, take care, and I hope you have a Happy Hannukah, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year, too. 🙂

  20. Michael Says:

    “I am even married to someone who was baptized in the Church of England”. ???

    I always knew Christmas was a Gay festivity. I didn’t ask and someone just told me this. Seems like a flaunt of “Who I Am”. Too bad one is a Civilian and not in the Military.

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