Kathy Yanchus, Review Journalist
You can’t possibly please everyone and when it comes to the correct time to display Christmas stock or pipe Christmas carols through a store’s sound system, you’ll never get people to agree.
I am one of those who doesn’t like anything ‘Christmas-y’ too soon; not carols, not decorations, not Christmas trees, not outdoor lights.
Sure, if the weather is unseasonably warm, go ahead and put up the lights in October or November, just don’t turn them on.
When Shoppers Drug Mart bowed to customer pressure to halt the Christmas music last month, I was pleased. I wasn’t one of those who complained, and I love Christmas carols, just not before we’ve even had a chance to commemorate our veterans on Nov. 11, put Halloween decorations away or even get accustomed to the darkness descending earlier.
Isn’t it nice to savour a shorter festive season instead of watering it down by spreading it out over two months? No wonder there’s such a decline in Christmas spirit when it should be soaring; people are simply fed up with the constant reminders of a busy season, how many people they must buy presents for and how much they will, no doubt, overspend.
Having said all of that, however, I resent any attempt by anyone to eradicate or even temper our Christian Christmas traditions. As long as the Shoppers’ campaign was solely about the earliness of the season and not about people being offended by expressed Christmas sentiments in general, I’m all for holding off on the seasonal carols until December.
With the word ‘holiday’ replacing Christmas on so many occasions, enough is enough. It’s not a generic ‘holiday’ tree but a Christmas tree. Why say Happy Holidays, when we’ve always said Merry Christmas? It’s not a ‘holiday’ wreath but a Christmas wreath. Christmas trees and decorations are associated with the Christmas season, not a random ‘holiday’ season. We don’t create generic terms for other festive or religious symbols – how offensive would that be?
Anyone can celebrate however and whatever they want on Dec. 25, but don’t presume that everyone feels the same way about meshing them together in one all-inclusive holiday to appease people of all faiths. Each faith has its own festive days and those should be equally honoured and not tampered with, as it should be with Christmas.
I would bet that the majority of other religions and cultures who have adopted Canada as their new home are not offended by the use of the greeting Merry Christmas and no doubt many have even adopted some of our Christmas traditions as their own.
So just who are the people who insist on disguising Christmas and all its beauty and magic and spirit, so it’s almost unrecognizable?
Whoever you are – Bah Humbug.