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From the RAVEN Newsletter

[The Media Desk for the USS RAVEN(IFT) Newsletter]

©01 The Media Desk

       One question that was asked, Do they Christmas in Star Trek?

       The answer is a qualified 'Yes'.
       Aside from the direct representation of the holiday and assorted 'French-Flavored' decorations and traditions in Star Trek 'Generations' where we see Picard and his 'should have been' family gathered for the occasion. The name of the day is never mentioned, but unless the French of the 24th century exchange gifts with a large heavily decorated tree in the room for Bastille Day, it had to be Christmas.
       Other references to almost Any Holiday seems to be lacking except for birthdays and the oft-mentioned but never actually celebrated 'Federation Day'. But since the Federation, and thereby Star Fleet, recognizes all and sundry beliefs, it is easy to imagine that Christmas, and Kwanzaa, and Ramadan, and Chanukah, and Occlusion of Saturn too if you wish to observe it, are all celebrated, or at least recognized, by the Federation.
       However, with umpteen cultures represented, if the government allowed every holiday on the books to be officially observed, Every Day would be a holiday for somebody and it could easily get out of hand. So the best thing to do would be to simply not recognize any official holidays but allow a reasonable unofficial observance of whatever the locals want to celebrate. And the same would follow through on individual ships, such as Neelix did on VOYAGER for the various crew from different species. For instance, everybody knows Christmas Day is December 25, right?
       Well, unless you ask somebody from the Orthodox Christian Religion known as the Coptic Church. In which case Christmas is December 7. Or maybe you happen to be in Eastern Europe or parts of Asia, where Christmas is in the first week of January.
       So whichever calendar you adhere to... Peace. And long life in honor of your Holy Day.

       Another good question was...Why So Many RAVEN Stories?

       Well there's several very good reasons.
       One. It is Required by somebody way on up yonder at the IFT that the 'ship' have a 'history'. So. The RAVEN now has a history. And from what the Desk has seen, the RAVEN's is the one of the most extensive and deepest around. And if it ain't, as soon as chapter 5 gets underway, it will be soon.
       The second reason is... It sets a flavor and a tone for the local crew. People can become, to some degree anyway, their character. Except in the Desk's case, it already was its character. Yes the Desk is Lt. Kada / Dr. Leftover / etc etc... And it HAS had almost every job in the galaxy, has been to places it can't pronounce halfway up the side of some mountain in Arizona, and makes chili that glows in the dark.. So if you want to become the ship's third officer who is a practicing 'Sky Clad' Janist Mystic, go for it. In reality, and in the fictional series too, the job of 'shady character/bartender/historian' is taken.
       Finally. It's FUN! Pure escapist fiction. The Desk solicits input from all and sundry (usually). The plot simply works itself out based on the characters and the situation, and if the Captain needs a 'Proto-Borg Synapses Inhibitor' they find one, or Mel and Jon build one, or the bridge crew figures out a way to hotwire the sensor panel to make it work.
       So in the final analysis, the only real answer to why RAVEN stories, 'Nevermore', is that the Captain told the Desk to write it a couple of years ago, and has regretted it ever since.

       One other worthwhile question is: what has the sea change in America in the shadow of the Attack done to Christmas and other 'mid-winter-feast-days'...

       Is it deluded to take kids to see Santa with armed guards walking the mall and NATO AWACS planes patrolling the skies overhead?
       Should Americans be singing 'Little Town of Bethlehem' when open warfare exists there in 'the least of Judah'?
       Would any reasonable person be willing to go 'over the River and Through the Woods' to Grandma's or anywhere else with dangerous fanatic nuts willing to highjack buses or planes or even garbage trucks to their own deaths if they can do it to further a cause as murky as the icing on your holiday fruitcake?

       The answer is simple.
       The Attack did NOTHING to the Holiday.
       Nothing substantial that is. OK, so Santa has a bodyguard, oh well.
       The economy may be tight, travel may be down a little, and the Salvation Army is hard pressed for bell ringers. The HOLIDAYS will continue because...
       We must continue to Be Americans.
       If that includes putting a plastic angel that lights up on your roof, or lighting a candle once a day for a week, or even leaving food under a bush for fairies, so be it.
       Whatever you did in years past, and had planned for this year, as far as is possible, should still be your plans. OK, your TWA tickets to Bimini have to be changed, but other than that, go for it.
       Besides. The President told us to get on with our lives as the most powerful weapon we have against the terrorists. So...
       Spin the Draddle, make your gingerbread house, fast until sunset, and bread the pheasant livers in corn meal and fry them... It's The Holidays!

Selah (peace)

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