Monday Message Board

It’s time, once again, for the Monday message board, where you are invited to post your thoughts on any topic. Civilised discussion and no coarse language, please. My suggested discussion starter is that hardy perennial: What does Christmas mean to you ?

21 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. Dang, and I was going to write about the medium term structural changes required to stabilize the underlying factors that contribute to the problems on the current account. That reminds me, I must get an extension on my credit card limit.

  2. I’m not sure if it is about giving or shopping, but it is one of the two.

    I think the receiving part is also vastly underrated by those who seek to glorify Christmas as a time of mindless generosity. Poppycock. I’m not sure that many people would “selflessly” give if they weren’t getting something in return.

    Christmas helps to prop up the economy, even in debt-heavy Western societies. Discuss.

  3. Christmas == cricket on tv, BBQs, days at the beach, hooning around eastern suburbs Sydney pubs, lazy lunches, picnics, all night drinking sessions.

  4. On the topic of giving, the great and greatly ignored psychoanalyst Ian D Suttie (1899-1934) insisted that there is an instinct to give (in all sorts of ways, not just presents) which is reinforced by the Christian notion that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Of course the element of calculation enters, and the more so since Christmas has become a kind of cargo cult for children and others who prefer to receive rather than to give.

  5. stress! I grew up a victim of maternal aspirations about the meaning of Christmas (togetherness) which, in our post-divorce family of teenagers meant mum got more and more hopeful and more and more stressed as the day approached. Then when it arrived it inevitably involved heartbreak, disappointment, impotent rage (at paternal nonchalance) and a huge barney with every family member within striking distance.

    These days I’m more into relaxation and avoiding family. Apart from my three year old, who’s already been indoctrinated by pre-school into believing in Santa and expecting presents.

    My view – it’s a forced holiday, so give some money to charity, eat a pleasant meal and look forward to boxing day.

  6. I knew Conroy before he was famous, when we were in the same branch of the ALP (this was a long, long time ago!). He was marked for greatness (or something) even then.

  7. Christmas is not a religious festival to me. It was originaly a pagan one and was just restamped by the Catholic church. Jesus was born some time around April or so.

    I celebrate it in a purely secular fashion. Tree, presents, cliche dinner, etc.

    I hate the commercialization of christmas though.

  8. Of course, if the Catholic Church hadn’t restamped Christmas and a swag of other pagan observances, and thereby burdened the original base of Christianity with a bizarre superstructure of cults of saints and cults of relics, Mohammed may never have felt compelled to invent a new religion, and the last 1400 years may have been much more straightforward.

  9. I’m all for more pagan rituals, we could call them ‘anthropological research’ and get an grant which would pay for the roasted ox and the barrels of wine.

    Bring your own wench.

  10. I think Bart Simpson sumed it up best when he said – ‘Christmas is a time when people of all religions come together to worship Jesus Christ.’

  11. 1. Lots of great, live, choral music.

    2. Solution to a coordination problem: everyone in the family keeps that week free for the annual reunion; as it’s non-negotiable, there’s no scope for negotiation, strategic behaviour or emotional blackmail.

  12. Christmas is great – if you can survive it. Of course the lawyers look forward to the business in the new year as does Centrelink when the families which have unravelled during the festivities come to find a way to make their New Year’s Resolution real – ie I am going to get him/her out of my life.

    Seriously I love it – after all the miracle of birth is worth remembering every year and that a woman once pulled off a story which is a miracle in itself – certainly beats being stoned for adultery or being cast out of the bosom of the family. The pleasures of food, friends, dining, presents takes a lot of beating.

  13. Google keeps upgrading so we users of older browsers can use fewer and fewer of its features. Now Google groups has upgraded so I can’t even use it for lurking – it needs a registration I can’t do, possibly from requiring javascript. I already couldn’t use it for posting for that reason.

  14. The highlight since coming back has been sneaking down to the beach after all the family business and enjoying a bottle of wine and a good cigar as the sun goes down. It’s better than snow.

  15. Google has never been the same since they went online. I still use the old paper-based version. Some of my friends laugh but I still maintain it was the mose reliable and secure version ever produced.

  16. Christmas hasn’t been worth a cracker since Foy’s went out of business and their giant papiere mache Santa, who beckoned with a curling finger over the intersection of Swanston and Bourke Streets, was sent off to the paper recycling depot.

    On the other hand, the dismal jokes that continue to turn up in those Chinese-manufactured bon bons are proof positive that prosperity is not necessarily a sufficient condition for developing a sense of humour. Somehow, that’s a comforting thought for me.

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