Thursday, December 15, 2005

A question for all our pagan readers (if we really have any)

So my favorite coffeehouse, The College Perk Coffeehouse, is a joint in College Park, Maryland, which has been open all of two years and four months. It's pretty chill and a bit crunchy/hippie or what have you, but I go there for the atmosphere and the cute baristas (and of course the coffee, pie, and iced tea). Anyway, the two years that I've patronized the joint, I notice around Christmastime there's no sign of the season to be found. Perfectly acceptable business decision, I suppose, but with this place, I kinda figured a fewwhite lights, maybe a decorated artificial mini-tree, some stockings with the names of the staff members, maybe a wreath, some holly, some mistletoe, you know, basic stuff that's not kitschy but not specifically Christian in content. For a non-religious establishment, I think that would be classy and cozy, perfect for the environment there.

So I asked a barista there about this, and discovered that the Perk's owner has emphatically put his foot down on the notion of any Christmas-like decorations. They've been nixed, apparently, because the owner has a bit of a beef with Christmas, or, well, his pagan girlfriend does.

Sheesh, the old pagan girlfriend stole Christmas excuse, the oldest in the book.

Look, I'm perfectly fine with his decision on the matter, in fact, I'll continue to patronize the joint, I'm not one to boycott.

But there's something just a touch odd about steadfastly refusing to decorate an independent, non-corporate coffeehouse with a little bit of hints of the season, especially since Christmas decoration evolved from pagan roots to be divorced from any spiritual content whatsoever.

So I guess I'm asking any pagans/neo-pagans/godless unwashed hordes of heathens who might be reading this: Does Christmas really get your goat? Are you okay with it but you know pagans who are militantly against Christmas, even the most secularized distillations of it? Do you think this case is a fluke?