Sunday, December 21, 2008

O Tannenbaum

Michael, from work, has been on me about "Christmas Trees." First he send me an EMail with a link to the "official" Boston Calendar. I think he got the link from the Desk of the Poker Philosopher. For sure the link he sent me several days ago has gone away. At any rate, this is what the Boston Calendar was "supposed" to have said:
Join the Boston Children’s Chorus (BCC) to kick off the start of the city’s holiday season! The singers will join Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino for one of the city’s most cherished events- the lighting of Boston’s official non-denominational holiday shrub, and trees throughout Boston Common, The Public Garden and Commonwealth Avenue Mall. The BCC is an accomplished children’s singing group with nine choirs and 300 singers ranging from ages seven to eighteen years old. BCC has performed at the Democratic National Convention, Governor Deval Patrick’s Inauguration, and with the Boston Pops. (My highlighting)
But, Michael was not done with me. He then asked our Admin Assistant to ask me if our little artificial tree in the office was to be called a Christmas Tree.

So, I figured I was being put to the test on this issue. Where would I stand?

We conferred (The Admin Assistant and yours truly) and the result was a sign proclaiming our Christmas Tree. Then George, from Marketing, wandered by and stuck his head in my office and asked about the feelings of others, who might be offended by a Christmas Tree. (Why do they come to me--I have been a lowly analyst for almost a year now.) I told George to think up a sign and I would put it up outside my office.

So, the answer is, I am for "Christmas Tree." I am for Christmas Tree even if Christopher Hitchens doesn't like it.

And, if one goes to the Boston Calendar today it talks to the "Globe Santa" and the lighting of the Hanukkah Menorah.

There was a time that Christmas was a banned holiday down in Boston (1659-1681). I am sure the folks thought, at the time, that they were doing the right and proper thing. But, today it is not banned and we are the better for that.

Frankly, I enjoy the fact of the various observances this time of year. I like buying some Hanukkah Gelt to give to those I know who are Jewish. While I don't know anything about Kwanzaa, I look forward to Ray Billingsley turning his comic strip, "Curtis," over to giving me a Kwanzaa story each year.

But, in celebrating our diversity, we should not look away from those traditions that allow other traditions to create that diversity.

All of this is not to say that if you asked me about my faith I won't tell you. But, it also means I may ask you about yours, or your reason for not having a "Faith."

And more important, I don't think it would be good for the Republic to have a government composed of Mandarins who shun religious expression while the vast majority of the citizens believe in a higher power, in one form or another.

This brings us back to Christopher Hitchens. On this issue, I think President Elect Obama made an interesting and acceptable choice.

Regards -- Cliff

1 comment:

ncrossland said...

I am at once both appalled and mystified by the (now) annual bashing of Christmas while at the same time whining about the lack of holiday spirit. Seems to be a conflict in logic. Whose holiday is it then? Apparently, if we are to go with the antheists and the other fashionably dissident folk, there really isn't a holiday per se, but then the retailers would have no annual buying bash to celebrate.

I wonder what it is that the anti-Christmas crowd is so fearful of. I am quite easily able to pass on Ramidan or even Kwanza or Hanuka while being joyous that those whose belief system compels them to celebrate "their" holiday of preference. And, I don't see or hear any vehement protests regarding the practice of those cherished days. The only open disdain bordering on public revulsion on the part of some comes with the mere mention of Christmas. Why? For those of us who happen to believe in the Christ as the living God, and thus have chosen to celebrate His birth in the form of CHRIST Mass, what can possibly be the harm to them. Of course, I personally know the answer and it has been a fact for time immemorial...well...since the time of the birth of Jesus. BTW, December 25 is a representative date, NOT the actual date of birth. Obama has nothing new on this matter. Maybe he was born in Honolulu or Africa...who knows? Who cares??? Why would that be important....and why is it important that anyone at DRC concern themselves with whether someone else is concerned about someone else's celebration of Christ's Mass. Now....the naming of the tree is another issue. Let's get it right.....it's NOT a Christmas tree...it's a Yule Tree. Or so my reference tells me. Any of you who may have visited Israel...or the surrounding landmass, will agree that the evergreen tree has no representative connection with that region.

For my part...have a blessed Christ Mass...and if you are one of that flavor of mankind....please enjoy your time when it comes on the calendar. Just don't rain on mine.