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

Market and music tonight at Gyro Park

Grapevine: Local events from July 18 to July 24

Fort Shepherd restrictions unchanged after public meeting

TLC held an informational session in Trail on Monday

Last stop: The inside story of Queen City Shuttle and Charters’ closure

Former employees open up about the Nelson company’s final days

Avoid vacation vehicle woes

Ron Nutini is a licensed automotive technician in Trail

How the Queen City Shuttle and Charters’ closure affected you

Here’s what readers had to say about the company’s shutdown

Rents in most Canadian cities are unaffordable for lower-income earners: study

Roughly one-third of households, or 4.7 million, are renters

Motor vehicle incident in Sparwood results in death of dump truck driver

Authorities did not specify what caused the vehicle to go off the road.

B.C. government seeks advice on reviving Interior forest industry

Public website opens as meetings start with community leaders

Psychics, drones being used to search for missing Chilliwack woman with dementia

Drones, psychics, dogs and more have been employed to help find Grace Baranyk, 86

Kootenay Anglican bishops, priests grapple with same-sex marriage vote

After same-sex marriage amendment rejection, priests, bishops voice discontent

Feds issue battery technology challenge at energy conference in Cranbrook

Provincial and territorial energy and mines ministers talk policy, challenges at annual meeting

B.C. mom to go to Europe court in hopes of getting alleged abducted daughter back

Tasha Brown alleges her estranged wife abducted their daughter Kaydance Etchells in 2016

‘Benzos’ and fentanyl a deadly cocktail causing a growing concern on B.C. streets

Overdoses caused by benzodiazepines can’t be reversed with opioid-overdose antidote naloxone

Scheer on Trump: It’s ‘offensive’ to question the family background of critics

Trump is being called a racist for saying that the four congresswomen should go back where they came from

Most Read