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Stand up for time-honoured Christmas traditions

Letter to the Editor:
Scrooge is alive and well. He has proclaimed time honoured traditions like familiar seasonal decorations, colours, or greetings be discontinued in specific locations.

Scrooge arrogantly puffs his chest out and smugly says to all and sundry “I am politically correct.”

This paraphernalia is offensive to the minority. The majority has to accept that it is no longer acceptable. The majority is displeased. What is happening?

Most families in Picton celebrate Christmas. This means different things to different people. A Christian’s Christmas is defined as the Nativity, the birth of Jesus Christ. Try as one might, he or she will never find Santa, red and green decorations, sparkling ornaments, parades etc., between the front and back
covers of the New Testament. Ergo Christians are not trying to force any of these things on others.

Those with no religious affiliation use the word “Christmas” because the word has evolved over the years. Christmas may be interpreted as a season of various expressions of Good Will, familial or work get togethers, exterior illumination, vacations, whatever sentimental turn of phrase may apply.

What do the religious and non-religious groups have in common? The ideology that we share an interpretation of this wonderful season in a free country. This is part of our heritage, our customs, our culture, “our Canada”.

As a proud Canadian I support all of you who do not want our interpretation of Christmas to be watered down. Scrooge may be found in a number of different locations attempting to dilute what has been acceptable and appreciated in the past. Perhaps his presence has made itself known in a familiar business/workplace/school or other location known to you.

Humans are incredibly adaptable. When a tradition begins to break or fall apart into small fragments over a period of time, we slowly become accustomed. It is so easy for this to happen when we are too busy to take note or hoping somebody else will do something because we don’t want to become involved.

Project 5 years ahead. Although grumbling has continued, few have defended against attack. The result? An entitled tradition has crumbled into a forbidden one. Does your dissected culture make you feel sad, discouraged, frustrated that in your ‘free’ country, you seem to be losing ‘freedom of speech’ and the loss of your country’s entitlement to embrace what has been yours?

If so, now is the time for you to “Stand Up, Speak Out, Be Counted. Unity, thy name is supposed to be Canada. Stand up for what is rightly yours and mine.

Janet Bingham, Picton

Filed Under: Letters and OpinionNews from Everywhere Else

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  1. Mike Rodgers says:

    When someone says happy holidays, reply Merry Christmas. Free speak will be achieved.

  2. Janet Bingham says:

    I redirect to the reply from a lady named Carolyn who understood everything perfectly and was able to present it well. I find the fact that immigrants were brought up to be the cause of the initial letter alarming. Volatility and use of vocabulary such as BS, stirring pot of hatred, veiled comments, warped definition of nationalism are of equal concern. To explain who the politically correct police are: I assumed that most Canadians are familiar with Dicken’s character, Scrooge in the classic “A Christmas Carol”. If you are unaware of the story, Scrooge was a boss who not only disliked Christmas but also initially attempted to remove its joy from his long-suffering employee who could not so much as display evidence in his workplace. I was using Scrooge as a link to corporate offices, or those who appear to be behaving in a similar fashion by not allowing Christmas decorations or saying Merry Christmas even to those known to celebrate either the religious or secular festivity. People have told me that they would never address their concerns about the watering down of Christmas in writing due to hostile responses. So much for free speech. Also, when a person denies my free country right to defend part of our current culture, I think they place immigrants in a place where they probably will feel timid about defending their culture. It seems logical to assume that there would not be two sets of rules.

  3. Fred says:

    Ok, “Happy Holidays”! Sounds sterile.

  4. Scott Farkus says:

    I’m with Dennis Fox on this one. There is no war on Christmas. In my experience, newcomers to this country are happy to learn about local customs. I sincerely doubt any of you has experienced a negative reaction in response to you wishing someone a merry christmas. More likely you are insulted when someone inadvertently wishes you a happy holiday in an attempt to be cordial and inclusive. Hannukah is from Dec 22 to the 30th this year. If someone wishes you a happy holiday, assume they are trying to do the Christian thing and welcome everyone.

  5. Angela says:

    Who are the politically correct police? They are the politicians, the companies, the stores and individuals who point fingers at Nativity scenes and take offense at the very word Christmas. They do not want Christmas carols sung or Christmas concerts held. it is not necessarily because they are personally affronted by these things – in many instances it is done for a different reason. The politicians do not want to lose votes, the stores do not want to lose customers. Sobey’s cancelled Christmas, I assume at corporate level. Then there were a few complaints and presto, in their Picton store a chalkboard sign reading Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas has appeared over the bakery counter along with two timid looking little poinsettias. At lest they are trying. The politically correct police Dennis are those who erased the words Merry Christmas from Christmas cards. Haven’t you noticed that it is now difficult to find cards with this greeting or with Nativity scenes? The politically correct police are those who speak of seasonal lights and festive trees as if Christmas were a dirty word. They are the store owners who instruct their staff to say Happy Holidays, not Merry Christmas. Yes, Dennis, there are politically correct police and they live among us. They believe that we can best respect the traditions of others (and maintain their business) by abandoning our own.

  6. Dennis Fox says:

    I think some of you are paranoid – just who are the “politically correct police” and who are the “wolves circling the wagons?” People here are spreading the same BS that Don Cherry did and he got what he had coming to him. Either clearly identify the people and the fear you are writing about or I can only assume you are only trying to stir the pot of hatred – for there is certainly no kindness nor understanding being revealed in most of these comments.

    Go ahead yell at me all you want, but I am disappointed in the level of this conversation. I asked at the beginning of this chain of comments – “what was the motivation for Janet Bingham’s letter?” – and received no response. Instead it only opened the door for more veiled comments about some warped definition about nationalism – but no one having the gall stating that it is really about immigrants and the religions that come with them. And you call yourself Christians and wish people a Merry Christmas – phony or what!

    I’m done with this conversation, unless you want to do it in person – so I can put a face with the name and tell you what I really think of you. What a disappointment to see this web site used for this kind of hate mongering.

  7. Med says:

    I am in agreement with Ms Bingham”s views. (some people here) are old enough to have experienced world war 2 and saw how a power can rise when good people do nothing. Thank your creator people did do something otherwise you and I may not be here. The point being an erosion of a belief system. The wolves are circling the den. Be warned. A lack of response on this matter may seem trivial but rest assured more can follow when parties see what has happened , and they will happen. Hopefully in vain. Merry Christmas

  8. Mark says:

    Neglected to state ” The Countyism” ! We are a recognized group as well.

  9. Janet Bingham says:

    LB I agree with your statement re all people once a year etc.” This is happening in Canada. The following is an alphabetical list of religious and/or cultural celebrations in Canada in December 2019. Christmas, DiWali, featured in Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism, and Newar Buddhism, Hanukkah, Kawanzaa, Mawlid el-Nabi, Omisaka, Solstice, Zoroastrian.

    None of these religions would be partial to attempts that would water down their good traditions but all are grateful that they can celebrate who they are in a ‘free’ country.

  10. Emily says:

    I think Sobey’s really erred on this one. It’s strange for such a community inclusive store to take this route.

  11. Angela says:

    You’re right, Chris. Stores have the right to decorate as they please but from mow on I will not shop at Sobey’s. I have the right to choose where I buy and it will not be from any store that tiptoes around Christmas to pander to those who do not wish to celebrate this holiday. I’m sure Sobey’s is not dependent on my business for survival but then again I don’t need them, either.

  12. LB says:

    Personally, I would love it if all people once a year all collectively celebrated the same thing at the same time – peace, respect, acceptance & goodwill to all and to each other.

    What’s stopping us? Religions, governments, boundaries, power and control.


  13. Carolyn says:

    No one has blamed any immigrants. It is the government, store managers, corporate companies that make decisions like the removal of red/green/white colours, lights, garlands and perhaps familiar Christmas trees in the town centre park because the ‘powers that be are the ones wanting to be ‘seen’ as politically correct. Most immigrants are being harmed by this because people automatically assume that they are the ones who demanded ‘bland’ and the backlash is on the newcomers. Read the first paragraph of the letter, it uses the word ‘Scrooge’ as a descriptor of Dicken’s offensive employer and his actions. It’s all there. Many immigrants came from terrible situations and want peace here. What I got from the letter is that politically correct snobs are causing problems for everybody in their bid to look so (yes I’ll say it) politically correct.

  14. Chris Keen says:

    Just who or what are the politically correct police?! A business has the “freedom” to “choose” whether/how to decorate their premises, just as we have the “freedom” to “chose” to wish someone a “Merry Christmas” or instead use “Happy Holidays”. We should be respecting each others’ choices instead of trying to regulate behaviour. Choosing one over another is not a sign of disrespect.

  15. Angela says:

    Sometimes disturbing changes come about almost without being noticed. Then the penny drops, Dennis, and it is too late to do much about it. When clerks are told not to say Merry Christmas the winds of change are blowing. I’m with Bruce and Mrs. Bingham – Merry Christmas to all, a joyous greeting that I hope will always ring out loud and clear.

  16. Bruce Nicholson says:

    Merry Christmas to all .

  17. Angela says:

    I am not convinced that those objecting to the traditions and symbols of Christmas are essentially the people of the minority. Our own politically correct police are to blame for a lot of it. This year, Picton’s Sobey store has not decorated for Christmas. Instead of the usual holiday decorations they have put up purple and gold boxes in their store as a nod to the season. Those politically correct boxes do not quite hit the mark for unfortunately they look more like ads for Crown Royal than anything else.

  18. Dennis Fox says:

    I believe that I am as old or perhaps older than a good number of people commenting about this letter by Janet Bingham. I am not clear as to what motivated this person to write such a letter, but I have to say that at no time during my life have I ever felt that those traditions that I hold close to me have been threatened by anyone – particularly by any group of new Canadians. My traditions are still well in place and I believe so are Canada’s. What we are doing more of now is recognizing other religions and the traditions that come with them – this is a good thing, and we should feel proud for doing so.

    If you consider our own Christmas traditions, you would know that most of those were created in England during the Victorian era, by Victoria’s husband Prince Albert – a German! Canadians happily adopted those traditions and over time made them ours.

    I don’t see the need for all the angst as expressed by Ms. Bingham and nor do I agree with those comment that agree with her.

    The only thing that I see threatening our traditions is the high speed commercialism of our times causing people to work longer and harder, and the closed minds that believe in not sharing our country with those who need a home. As we know, all of our families came here in a similar manner. If our traditions are good ones and strong ones(which they are) they will last. We have nothing to worry about.

  19. Sueb says:

    Here’s my two cents – for what it’s worth. If folks of different ethnic backgrounds want to practice their own faith here in Canada as a democratic right, to which they are entitled, I fully support that, provided it doesn’t infringe upon my rights. And given this reality, in jobs where employees are granted stat holiday pay, then why do working non-christians get paid stat holidays for Christmas, Boxing Day, Good Friday and Easter? I’m a christian but I don’t automatically get their religious days paid and take the day off?
    I’m looking at this from a factual stand point. Things have gone to the extreme in so many situations, and I fear that this argument for Christmas celebration is just another example of deconstructing my christian beliefs.
    Merry Christmas to all!

  20. Angela says:

    Who is making the choice for us?

  21. Chris Keen says:

    The is not an issue of freedom, it’s a matter of choice.

  22. Angela says:

    Well said, Ms Bingham. We are becoming a spineless lot happy to give up our traditions including the right to say Merry Christmas lest we offend a minority who embrace other faiths and traditions. By the time we wake up we may find other freedoms have disappeared as well. The war on Christmas is real. Check out all those cashiers who have been told to say Happy Holidays or Seasons Greetings. This is not in Ms Bingham’s mind. It is happening in our town and in other communities across Canada.

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