Eradication of ‘Christmas’ hasn’t succeeded
Christmas has once again arrived. Like many others, I am delighted to see the return of the “most wonderful time of the year” to the Cowichan Valley. Decorations are out, and references to Christmas abound. People are saying “Merry Christmas.” It can be seen on signs and in stores everywhere. I even hear store clerks saying it. This is in sharp contrast to years ago when political correctness threatened to end Christmas celebrations and greetings.
In the early 2000s, a campaign began to eradicate Merry Christmas and the mention of Christmas from public venues. It didn’t succeed. In the past, as long-time readers of the Citizen know, I have defended Christmas and the use of “Merry Christmas” on many occasions, and the Citizen kindly chose to print my letters. Thanks to the editorial staff for having done so.
You would think, then, that I and others could now be satisfied that references to Christmas and “Merry Christmas” are safe, and that we can forget the omissions of years gone by. Not so. The attempt to eradicate Christmas continues, either deliberately or by omission. It hasn’t ended.
Thrifty’s signs and banners read “Share Happy Holiday” or “Happy Holiday is Here.” No mention of Christmas. This may be alliterative, but it has nothing to do with the Christmas season. The city of Duncan still has “Merry and Bright” and “Be Merry” signs, which also have no connection to Christmas. Sorry folks. We don’t celebrate “merriness” or “brightness” we celebrate Christmas.
For those who don’t know, much of the rest of Canada is suppressing or eradicating Christmas references. The city of Edmonton is removing the beloved giant Christmas tree that has been placed in Churchill Square for decades, replacing it with a lit-up Bison and series of light displays. Heritage Canada, a federal agency that once ran “Christmas Lights Across Canada” has now renamed it “Winter Lights Across Canada” in the Ottawa Gatineau area, and that might soon spread across the nation. We need to remind ourselves, more than ever, that Canadians don’t celebrate winter. We celebrate Christmas and the holiday season.
A recent Leger poll showed that 92 per cent of people from non-Christian households approve of the use of “Merry Christmas” or don’t mind its use. That’s the real situation, and with that in mind I want to wish everyone, including the Citizen staff, a very Merry Christmas.