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Christmas is a Bad Word?

November 23, 2011

One of my favourite things about living in Canada, especially in Toronto, is how multicultural we are. On any given day I can walk down the street and walk by dozens of people who come from different ethnic and religious backgrounds. I am pro-immigration; why not give people a chance to live in this great country of ours? After all, Canada as a nation wouldn’t exist (and neither would the US for that matter) if it wasn’t for immigrants.

But I have a problem and I apologize if it comes across as racist or prejudiced. That’s not me at all; I abhor all forms of racism. I believe that everyone should be free to hold onto their beliefs and culture and practice them openly without judgment or persecution, as long as said beliefs are not harmful or violate the rights of others.

Here’s my problem: Christmas seems to be disappearing and by that I mean that all of  sudden it’s become a four-letter word and I don’t like it. This has been happening for years now but the final straw for me was over the weekend when I saw Loblaw’s, one of the country’s biggest grocery store chains (run by the ever so cute Galen Weston Jr.), selling “Holiday Trees”.

Really? Holiday trees?? Is calling them Holiday trees supposed to entice non-Christian’s to buy them? People aren’t stupid! A Christmas tree by any other name is still a Christmas tree.

Why are we taking the ‘Christmas’ out of everything? I don’t understand how it can be deemed as too religious when it’s supposed to be a religious holiday! I don’t see us asking Muslims to change the name of Eid to something less religious, or  asking those of the Jewish faith to come up with a new term for Hanukkah.

Should I change my name because it refers to ‘Christ’?

It’s become a very important practice in this country not to suppress other peoples faiths and I believe in this wholeheartedly…so why are Christians being asked to suppress theirs? I wish my friends a Happy Eid and a Happy Hanukkah. Why has it become so awful for me to wish others a Merry Christmas?

True, Christmas is clearly a dominant holiday in our intensely multicultrual society and sure, our customs and traditions have become somewhat exaggerated over the past century.  I also believe that there has been a somewhat unhealthy explosion in the retail side of Christmas. But I think the majority of people recognize that for what it is, and regardless of the trappings, celebrate the true meaning of the season: we celebrate the birth of Jesus, peace on earth and good will towards others. By removing ‘Christmas’ from the equation, they’re making it a generic holiday and not the special, and yes, religious, time it’s supposed to be.

Maybe I have no right to complain. I’m a WASP through and through. I’m white, I’m English and I’m Protestant. Culturally and historically speaking, my ‘people’ have not met with half the persecution that other cultures and religions have been subjected to (though my Quaker ancestors weren’t exactly welcome in Europe. And Newfoundlanders have been the brunt of jokes for years! Kidding. Remind me to tell you my favourite sometime).

But part of me is afraid that being so careful not to offend others, we’re going to lose our own cultural identity. And who has the right to say that my culture is any less important than my neighbours?

Sigh.

Sorry if anyone is offended by this. I just had to get it off my chest!

 

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 23, 2011 3:20 pm

    Amen! I’m with you 1000%. Gets on my darn nerves how freedom of religion no longer extends to the people it was founded for.

  2. November 24, 2011 8:50 pm

    It’s all about being politically correct nowadays, you just have to find ways to celebrate how YOU want and to find Christmas in everything you do! This is so off topic, but you’re from TO?! That’s so cool, we’re really not very far from each other- I’m in Montreal. 🙂 Your city is like my second home, ha! I haven’t been in a while now, but I’m usually there many times a year!

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