Andrea Rondeau column: I’m not ready to take the “Christmas” out of Christmas

I love the lights, the music and the craft fairs.

Now that Remembrance Day has passed, I can bring myself to start thinking and talking about Christmas.

I’m definitely with everyone who thinks that Christmas should stay out of the stores and off of our lawns until after Remembrance Day. These days, some can’t even seem to wait until Halloween is over. But I digress.

I love Christmas. I love the lights, the music and the craft fairs. I love the Christmas tree, the food (stuffing, home-made chocolate truffles, shortbread), and getting gifts for my family members.

What I don’t love so much are the work deadlines, which seem to creep up faster every year and squeeze us into a tizzy as we try to get the same amount of work done in fewer work days.

And every year there’s a discussion, if not an all-out argument, about erasing Christmas from, well, Christmas.

It’s something I have to think about as I write headlines. Should I go ahead and call it Christmas, or should I use a euphemism like “holiday”, or “season”, or “winter”, or “Xmas” (whatever that is — though to be fair, it does make for a nice, tight headline)? Which is the least likely to get me angry phone calls? I want to stay in the holiday spirit, after all.

But I’m not willing to cave in to strict political correctness and eliminate “Christmas” from the mix.

There are, of course, other important observances such as Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice and more. There are also those who are atheists. And in no way do I want to disparage anyone or leave people out.

But I think Christmas is still a widely accepted term for the whole season, whether you are religious or not. Strictly speaking, Santa, reindeer, candy canes and other such holiday accoutrements have little or nothing to do with the Christian tradition from which Christmas springs. But it’s all part and parcel of a time when we celebrate joy, love, family, life, giving and generosity. It’s a wonderful time that should bring us together, with everyone having the right to call it whatever they want, not make us dig in on our divisions.

Personally, I don’t find that anyone else’s traditions for this time of year in any way lessen me, or my beliefs. On the contrary. I hope others feel the same.

So I will continue to sometimes use “Christmas” in headlines, and trust that you, the readers, take it in the inclusive way it is meant.

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