I love your culture to bits. You are, by and large a nice bunch of people. I do have some issues with certain issues in your country but as a U.K. citizen I recognize your right to tell me to bugger off if I were to try and tell you what you should do. Therefore will not mention them here.

One thing I will mention is our inability to resist your traditions and even to integrate them here. The most obvious example is Halloween. When I was a child it was a time for telling scary stories and the odd horror film. Not surprising as we had four T.V. Channels and the only American programming we saw was Batman and the odd western. You were as likely to see a Hammer horror film. Of course when multi channel T.V. happened, the channels had to be filled. You guys are such prolific makers of televisual events that , inevitably, the stuff they filled it with was American.

Suddenly kids over here were seeing little children going out on October 31st and demanding sweets with menaces. They wanted some of that. Now kids in fancy dress and be seen on every British street. I am not that grumpy that I truly object to this harmless fun but our kids tend to forget the history and folklore that led to it. It becomes just an excuse for the gaining of sweets. Why pumpkins? Any idea? I suspect no one really does until they look. I am not even sure if the idea is ours or yours but being the older country it likely began here. It doesn’t really matter but some traditions in Britain are definitely submerged in imported American traditions. The Net has exacerbated this phenomenon.

All I am really saying is that anyone reading this might care to go and look at the REAL traditions and influences HERE. You may realise that it is rooted deep in Celtic history and was something important to our distant ancestors for quite different reasons.

Christmas is similar. The idea of the red robed Santa is credited to the Coca Cola company, though this is not strictly true. Before the early 1900’s Christmas was a mixture of Christian and Pagan traditions. The Church had adapted many ideas from Celtic and Pagan folk lore for it’s holiday celebrating the birth of Christ. Christmas films further dilute the religious and traditional message of Christmas in celebration of the Capitalist ideal. I intend going into Christmas traditions from a U.K. perspective nearer the time but will leave you with the following thought. Many people here  think that the start of the holiday season is when you first see Coca Cola’s ‘Holidays are coming ads.’

So all you lovely Americans, when you are celebrating these holidays. Please just look up the Holiday in question on the internet and see what it was originally about.

Have a nice day……….

A very different Father Christmas

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