DAY 235: Happy?

December 24th, 2017 § 0 comments



I suppose very year everywhere in the past, there have been people who resented the enforced happiness of Christmas – when they had no reason to be happy. Whether because they were lonely or impoverished; or had lost someone they loved, or they were in hospital or a war zone.. the list is unending. In 1972, Nixon ordered the notorious ‘Christmas bombing’ of North Vietnam:

In just one night, more than 2,000 homes were destroyed around Kham Thien, a busy shopping street in Hanoi. About 280 people were killed and at least as many again injured. Ha Mi  who was 10 years old at the time and remembers sheltering under the stairs of her family home with her sister, listening to the bombers overhead). had a friend, whose house was hit.

bombing

“There were a few houses still standing, but most of it was just rubble, flattened on the ground – or even just a big hole. Houses were just gone, it was horrible. I remember seeing people just standing there looking at it – but there was nothing there. Everything was just gone.”

This year, I’d like you to turn your thoughts, however briefly, to the Tamimi family, many of whom will be in jail:

[From Al Jazeera] Bethlehem, occupied West Bank - Ahed Tamimi,

 tamimi

a prominent 16-year-old Palestinian activist, has been detained during a pre-dawn raid on her home by the Israeli army and border police in the occupied West Bank. Ahed’s mother, Nariman, was also arrested on Tuesday afternoon during a visit to Ahed at an Israeli police station.

What other examples could I come up with? The misery goes on from year to year – and it’s so various. How do we have the nerve to speak of good cheer, and listen – not by choice of course –  to Bing Crosby and Bono as we fight our way through Tesco’s searching for Christmas wrapping paper and (for God’s sake) Christmas sellotape. How many this Christmas will be homeless or in danger of losing their homes? (One in 25 people in the London Borough of Newham is homeless – the highest in Britain  That’s 13,607 people. And, as you might expect, you don’t count as homeless just by not having a home, you have to fill in forms at the town hall. And they’ll check on your immigration status. The best thing you can hope for is company in your misery. No, we have to accept a glaring disconnect between a number of things:

1) the birth of a child in an impoverished one-parent family (sort of) in occupied Palestine 2000 years ago

2) a church and (by association) state holiday which is therefore naturally

3) an excuse for a great deal of eating and drinking together with

4) an ideology which identifies all this with peace and goodwill

5) stockings

6) presents

It’s all a bit much to take on board.

nativity

The word humbug is hovering on the edge of my keyboard.

I hope you have a great time.

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

What's this?

You are currently reading DAY 235: Happy? at Luke Hodgkin.

meta