Merry Christmas

Credit: Braden Fastier/Stuff

First of all, this article is not specifically focused on Patrick Gower?s recent espousal regarding Nelson?s Maori Santa. While I believe Mr Gower?s opinions on this matter are rather superficial to say the very least, I do not wish him, or anyone who shares his views, any ill will whatsoever.

In fact I wish him, like everyone else, a very Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year.

I do, however, feel the need to say something about this recent debate.

Mr Gower recently remarked on an episode of ?The Project?: quote.

“I’m bloody angry at New Zealand for fighting over Santa and I want us to stop. This is not what Santa’s about. Santa is not about angst and Santa is not about Santa hate.

“Santa is about hope, Santa is about dreams. Santa can come down the chimney even when you don’t have a chimney. Santa can come in the ranch slider, Santa can drink craft beer. Santa can drink strawberry-flavoured Lindauer for all I care.” end quote.

Or perhaps soft drinks I?m guessing, considering that this was the original intention behind the initial mass marketing of the early 20th century regarding this once traditional figure; beforehand found only in the occasional children?s book or old yuletide fables.

But what?s missing from the general debates that inevitably tend to flare up at Christmas time?

Well, I?m thinking that it is the only reason we have Christmas in the first place: the traditionally accepted time of the year when the birth of Jesus Christ is recognised.

Remember him?

I believe the argument surrounding the ?Maori Santa? and all the subsequent debate concerning the local council?s conciliatory position on the matter to be entirely frivolous to say the least. It makes me think of a bunch of people building a house without any retaining walls and instead focusing on what colour to paint the roof.

This is unfortunately yet another stark indication of how far our society seems to have devolved.

I mean, if you want to put up a Christmas display in a public place or business then this can be done wholeheartedly. All manner of plastic nonsense can be put together, with glittering lights and frost-coated candy canes. It?s encouraged, go nuts. But heaven help you if you wish to make any reference to the true meaning of this holiday.

?A nativity scene? Well, that?s not really in the spirit of the time now is it??

Of course, those who wish to celebrate the true nature of Christmas are thankfully still free to do so and I can?t imagine a time when this is not the case. Unlike many parts of the world, Christians in New Zealand do not live in fear for their lives for practising their faith overtly.

Like all Christmas times before, this one will pass with the customary measures of last minute shopping sprees and idiotic driving.

For all the readers out there, wherever you might happen to be, I wish you all a very safe and happy Christmas. That, amid all of the potential stress and pressures this time of year can sometimes present you with, you will all get a chance to put your feet up and share some moments with your loved ones. Because after all, this time of year is not about what we give or get or the colour of Santa?s skin, but rather about one thing and one thing only: peace on earth and goodwill to all.

Merry Christmas.