While walking in the city center this afternoon an old woman wearing a big red nose and hobo-clown clothes jumped in front of me and screamed, "L'AMOUR!! [something something something] AMOUR?" Before I could react she handed me an envelope full of condoms and literature about preventing AIDS.
The war on Christmas is fought abroad too, you know. Here in France, where more than half the population is atheist or agnostic, they say,"
instead of just "Joyeux Noël", because, as a teacher clarified, they're specifically including New Year's. Never mind that 3/4 of the school holidays I'll be enjoying are religiously named ("All Saint's", "Christmas", "Easter") or that the calendar of saints shows up on business calendars and even on the weather forecast. France is a secular society that feels religion is a personal, private affair. They're respectful of traditions and acknowledge the Christian history, but keep it secular. I rather like it. If only those Muslim traditions would get secularized around here.