With the snow all gone, there’s nothing left but the whites of their faces. (Image Credit: Donald Judge, flickr).
In the age of global warming, the concept of a White Christmas is radically shifting, claims Angelina Drury, Assistant Professor at University of British Columbia’s Department of Sociology.
“These days, there are increasing numbers in marginalized populations that have never seen snow, or at least not in sufficient quantities to generate a strong association between weather and the holiday season,” she says. “What they have seen is a Christmas culture where the singers and their songs are white, and the movie and TV stars are all white—even the animated ones—and even Santa Claus himself is a revered, benevolent white man to whom they have to write humbling letters to beg for presents.”
Formica Johnson, Director of the Ontario Black History Society, is one of many who have independently reached the same conclusion.
“We had high hopes of replacing Christmas, but at this point we’ve had Kwanzaa for about 50 years and it’s failed to gain anywhere near the same level of cultural traction,” she told Mooseclean’s. “I think it’s time to wave the white flag … oh my God, I can’t believe I used that expression—please don’t quote that part in your article”
Kwanzaa is itself criticized as excluding non-black racial minorities and therefre leaves many others still stranded in social exclusion. But with few other alternatives, what else is there? Perhaps only individual creativity.
“In our house we play ‘What Would Jesus Buy?’ for the three weeks leading up to Christmas Day,” Iris Hernandez explains. “Because the answer is ‘nothing’, the fun comes from scrounging up items we can find lying around the neighbourhood, then presenting them to each other. I’ve received some real doozies.”
But for those not imaginative enough to create their own holiday, there’s always the option of a cultural remix.
“With no Christmas and no Hanukkah it’s a difficult time of year for us,” admits Reginald Mohr, a non-practicing Jew. “My family and I have experimented with Festivus for many years. We really enjoy the ‘Airing of Grievances’ part—it just feels so natural. But we never could find a good aluminum Festivus pole, so in our version we observe the holiday by plugging vienna sausages into the holes in our Menorah.”
However you celebrate the season, we at Mooseclean’s wish you only the very best.