Writing in the local paper. Local issues with a global take. I never translate literally and the editor trims at will to make it fit. Here's my version, then theirs.
It’s that time of year again. The time when coworkers loudly spill out of restaurants at all hours and then pour themselves into nightclubs only to stand around under a barrage of extremely loud music, shifting from foot to foot in awkward circles, waiting for the drunkest to break the ice and start dancing. That time of year when the festive lights go up and the shops that have managed to weather the crisis look up and hope that those vigorous roots the President keeps talking about will actually translate into a few more customers than last year. 'Tis the season when prawns and shellfish of all kinds dive deeper and deeper into the oceans only to end up next to a blog mayonnaise on a plate. And it's once again that time of year when, for some strange reason, those of us who view the virgin birth story with a healthy dose of scepticism are accused of wanting to get rid of holidays. And this year, with the seemingly unstoppable ascent of new poneytailed horseman of the Apocolypse, it appears that those accusations have grown even louder. But let's be serious, it’s one thing is to share the belief that religion is a private affair or that the mosque in Cordoba should belong to the people. But it is complete madness to think that because someone might believe in separation of church and state that they would also think that people shouldn’t have the right to a few days off of work in order to celebrate the return of Apollo with their friends and family. I may not feel the need to walk around the Kaba four times or to only eat fish on Fridays but I can guarantee you that there are few people who enjoy a fiesta more than me. Call it Christmas, Satunalia, Januca or the festival of light, but no matter what it’s called, I tell you I’m going to enjoy a few days off work. I'm also looking forward to seeing the smiles on my daughters’ faces while they open presents that came from Santa, the three wise men or their aunt in Athens. Trust me, they aren’t going to ask where they came from.