More to celebrate than just Christmas

A response to Trail Tines' question of the week: Do you think "Season's Greetings" should replace "Merry Christmas"

Re: Do you think “Season’s Greetings” should replace “Merry Christmas” (Trail Times Question of the Week, Dec. 11)?

It seems that many people are unaware that there are other things to celebrate besides Christmas during the month of December. Many people don’t celebrate Christmas at all, and many people celebrate what they understand to be a secular Christmas with no connection to Christ.

The government proclaims the legal holiday is Christmas, contributing confusion, even though everyone knows that not everyone is Christian. Some Christians insist that Christmas is only about Christ and that everyone must acknowledge this and only celebrate it with this understanding.

Some of us leave Christmas to the Christians and celebrate the original reason for the season: the Winter Solstice which occurs on December 21st. The calendars often only make reference to it as “the beginning of Winter”, which hardly sounds like a reason to celebrate for anyone who doesn’t enjoy Winter; which may be an attempt by Christians to discourage celebration of the Solstice, to assure that the Solstice is forgotten.

Solstice is an event that can be celebrated by everyone, religious or not. In the northern hemisphere, it is the day of the longest darkness and shortest light of the year because of the tilt of the Earth in relation to the Sun. On this day the promise is that despite Winter, warmth and Spring will eventually arrive.

It is sad that our government, likely controlled by Christians, did not see fit to declare the Solstice as the legal holiday and leave Christmas to the Christians. It has caused division, confusion, and the need to redefine what Christmas means.

Some Christians call redefinition a “war on Christmas” but it might be more accurate to refer to a war, if war it is, on the Solstice and respect for diversity of conscience of our secular country.  The Charter acknowledges freedom of religion as well as freedom of conscience. To me it means that everyone is free to practice religion but not to impose it on everyone. Dictating that everyone must say “Merry Christmas” is just such an imposition.

Bob Allen

Trail