LJWorld.com weblogs New Ideas, New Possibilities
The Queen's Message on Christmas Day, her specific mention of the Olympics and Paralympic Games - and Christmas in the Philippines
The Queen Speaks on Christmas Day.... and more
The Queen has given her Christmas Day Speech.
She especially appreciated the role of the Diamond Jubilee and all the efforts of Great Britain to put on the Summer Olympics and Paralympics this past summer.
I covered the entire Olympics and Paralympics, day by day, on my blog, although the Journal-World said almost nothing about the Paralympics during the whole time it was taking place, as was true with American media in general.
To me I find this is particularly important, because keeping the spirits high for all those who have undergone physical disabilities is an especially important task. These people have undergone difficulties that the average person has never experienced.
The following story could just as easily have taken place in Lawrence. If there is a new sports complex to be built, surely it will include facilities and sports for the handicapped:
To me, what this really says is that year round, we need to reach out to other people, of all races, and form friendships which last over time. This is one way we can overcome the isolation of modern American society, which leads to feelings of alienation which so many Americans have - and which, in part, may lead to terrible situations of killing - which we have seen in the past weeks in Newtown, and elsewhere.
To quote from a New York Times article which just appeared on the front page:
*For the first time, Queen Elizabeth II marked Christmas in a third dimension. Speaking from London, the queen videotaped her traditional holiday address to the British public in 3-D, and even donned 3-D glasses to watch it from Buckingham Palace. In the annual remarks, which she writes herself, the queen paid tribute to servicemen and women whose “sense of duty takes them away from family and friends” over the holidays, and highlighted a year that included the 60th anniversary of her reign and the London Olympic Games, The Associated Press reported.
“It was humbling that so many chose to mark the anniversary of a duty which passed to me 60 years ago,” she said, as footage showed the celebration of the Diamond Jubilee along the River Thames. Several other prominent British figures also amplified their means of communication this year. The archbishops of Canterbury and York each delivered Christmas sermons simultaneously in person and on Twitter, perhaps inspired by technological savvy of Pope Benedict XVI. John Sentamu, the archbishop of York, and the Most Rev. Rowan Williams, who is serving his last year as archbishop of Canterbury, live-tweeted their sermons complete with hashtag, #cswc, for “Christmas starts with Christ.”*
Christmas in the Philippines
And speaking of Christmas in other parts of the world, perhaps the longest Christmas season lies with the Philippines. I have friends who are Philippine, including my doctor, and they confirm that Christmas in the Philippines is often a very different experience than what many Americans have in this country. People spend their time with one another, greeting friends and relatives, instead of the frantic buying syndrome which occupies so many Americans.
I think we need to learn what other cultures have done - that is positive - to our holidays. When I mentioned Christmas to my doctor, who recently returned from seeing his father in the Philippines, he mentioned his father and Christmas in the Philippines in a most positive way.
Click on the following links for featured articles on Christmas in the Philippines:
and at Luneta Park in Manila:
116 days before Christmas, and the Ber months have begun:
Unfortunately, I was not yet able to receive information on Christmas in the Gambia, South Sudan and Malaysia - that will have to come later.
Have a very good Christmas - and make some new friends for next year!