Stuff that I have noticed so far:
1. Detroit airport is quite fun. There is a cool fountain type thing, a monorail which takes you from one end of the terminal to the other, and a blue light-show thing (above) on an underground walkway, and regular tv screens showing American Football games. However, Detroit airport is not complete. It has a huge void at its centre. The planners made a major mistake which affects every single passenger. Detroit airport suffers from the lack of a Dunkin’ Donuts. Every airport should have a Dunkin’ Donuts. That’s why I come to America.
2. Away in a Manger, and some other carols are sung to a different tune (my wife would be very proud that I didn’t call it the ‘wrong’ tune!). Not that there is anything wrong with the tune – it is a perfectly nice tune, but it made me realise how slight cultural differences and small changes in established Christmas traditions can change the feel of Christmas a little – putting emphasis in different places. Whilst part of me is thinking “It shouldn’t be done like that”, the other part is enjoing the enrichment that different cultures can provide.
3. Happy Holidays and Seasons Greetings. We have started to hear this a little in England (Birmingham named their Christmas season ‘Winterval’ a few years ago), but here, although there are many more practising Christians, the standard greeting from shop assistants and in town centres is ‘happy holidays.’ Presumably this is so that practising Jews, Muslims, Seikhs and others will not be offended (usually, these people wouldn’t be offended anyway). Maybe this is a good thing that the consumerism of the season is separated, albeit slightly, from the birth of Christ. Nevertheless, I always have a policy of replying with ‘Merry Christmas’.