Christmas part of heritage and religion

"I don’t begrudge you your celebration; please allow me to celebrate mine."

Happy Solstice, Mr. Allen (“More to celebrate than just Christmas,” Trail Times, Dec.16). And joyful wishes to all my neighbours and friends, whether they celebrate Christmas, Hannukah, Solstice, Kwanzaa, or a secular gathering of their own tradition. Me, I celebrate Christmas, because that is both my culture and my faith. I don’t begrudge you your celebration; please allow me to celebrate mine.

What “confusion” about a holiday observance of Christmas?  Our culture is a product of our history, and the history of Canada, although multi-layered, is predominantly rooted by the British and French, both cultures having significant Christian influence.  Government decision makers were in fact Christian, because until recently church on Sundays was the norm not the exception. Leaders based decisions on common social values which, since the time of Confederation, have been Christian. To have proclaimed the December holiday in honour of the Solstice would have amounted to heresy!  We also have Good Friday, Easter and Thanksgiving holidays– presumably you will say these are also products of bigoted Christian control. Fact is, our Canadian story has Christian roots, so the holiday is Christmas: however you choose to observe is up to you.

I assure you it is not the designation of the December holiday that “has caused division, confusion, and the need to redefine what Christmas means.” Christmas has a culture of its own: flying reindeer and jolly elves, overblown consumerism, family reunions, snow, paid days off, mistletoe, magical snowmen, excess calories, twinkling lights.

None of these are part of the Christian story, so can’t be blamed on what we name the holiday.  But whether you celebrate a spiritual or a secular Christmas, or none at all, Christmas is a part of the Canadian culture and would be harder to eliminate than TimBits.

Awhile back, my son in Grade 3 asked his teacher why they sang all the songs on the Christmas song-sheet except for Silent Night, which was his favourite. The answer was that it might offend some people who didn’t believe in that part of Christmas.

Well, I ask, what if I don’t believe in Rudolph? Or if I’m allergic to roast chestnuts? Will you leave those songs out, too?  If some of us wish to celebrate the coming of the Light of God into human darkness, why must I diminish my observance to prove I am tolerant of yours?

It might surprise you to know, Mr. Allen, that the promise of warmth returning to end winter is an integral part of the Christmas message.  That’s why we celebrate Jesus’ birth at this time of year.  You may have more in common with your Christian neighbours than you think. If “Merry Christmas” gets your back up, then I wish you the song of the angels:  “Peace, goodwill to all.”

Jennifer Sirges

Trail

Just Posted

Trail area homicide investigation continues

Jan. 14 marked one year since Jordan Workman was discovered in the trunk of a burnt car

Outbreak prompts advisory for visitors to extended care wing in Trail hospital

A respiratory infection has been active in Poplar Ridge Pavilion since Monday, advises IH

RDCK moves ahead with Castlegar rec complex upgrade plan

Board approves grant application for $13 million from provincial, federal governments

Construction of a Trail bridge underway

This link is seen as a way to enhance programming and better use every inch of the new facility

Music on stage at the Rossland Legion, Sunday

Grapevine: List of events in Trail and Greater Area for the week of Jan. 17 to Jan. 23

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Vancouver Island photographer makes National Geographic’s 2018 elite

Rare double honour for Marston from the 36 best Your Shots out of nearly 19,000 photos

Ex-Liberal candidate in Burnaby, B.C., says volunteer wrote controversial post

Karen Wang dropped out following online post singling out NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s ethnicity

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

BREAKING: Jury finds man accused of killing B.C. girl, 12, guilty

Twelve-year-old Monica Jack disappeared in May 1978 while riding her bike along a highway in Merritt, B.C.

B.C. government extends coastal log export rules for six months

Premier John Horgan promises reform at loggers’ convention

Most Read