Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Have Yourself a Calm Christmas

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Have Yourself a Calm Christmas

Article excerpt

Editorial Exchange: Have yourself a calm Christmas


An editorial from the Waterloo Region Record, published Nov. 30:

So what would a Canadian Christmas be like these days without all the bickering over which seasonal celebrations are suitable for public consumption? Well, for starters, there'd be more room for peace and goodwill on Earth.

But too often those fine sentiments -- what this time of year is supposedly about -- are drowned out by the hooting and hollering over whether public schools should have Christmas or Winter concerts, whether the tall and brightly lit evergreens raised in civic squares each December should be called Christmas or Season trees, or whether it is acceptable to wish a stranger "Merry Christmas" instead of the bland and hopelessly vague "Season's greetings."

Couldn't the combatants just put a Christmas stocking in it?

This year's yuletide foofaraw has already erupted in Guelph after the management at Stone Road Mall decided not to display a nativity scene that had long been part of the mall's Christmas decorations. Bowing before a tidal wave of public rage, the mall's management hastily agreed to restore the nativity scene to an honoured place.

But it was hard not to feel a bit sorry for those managers because they had stumbled into a no-win situation. Jettisoning baby Jesus from the mall would have incurred the righteous wrath of traditionalists who insist that Christ be put back in Christmas. Yet some shoppers will now complain that a commercial establishment shouldn't give a preferential nod to one faith over another, while more than a few Christians might object to seeing some of their most sacred images become part of a campaign to sell flat-screen TVs, perfumes and video games.

Maybe we all need to take a deep breath -- and let it out. Even if it's the most wonderful time of the year, Christmas is a complicated celebration.

It is -- and for roughly 1,700 years has been -- an overtly religious Christian festival commemorating the birth of Jesus. …

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