If you live in the Philadelphia area, you’ve no doubt heard about the short-lived renaming of Philadelphia’s annual Christmas Village. Just in case you aren’t familiar, Philadelphia has, for the past few years, has put on a Chriskindlmarkt in Center City outside city hall. They don’t call it a Chriskindlmarkt. They instead call it a Christmas Village. Earlier this week, the city decided to remove the word Christmas from it to avoid offending people. This ridiculous move was met with a proper level of outrage from the public and Mayor Michael Nutter had the name restored.
While I think he made the right move, it’s insane that they ever changed the name to begin with. I don’t think he’s a hero for putting out a fire that the city started to begin with. I also don’t think this is the last time we’ll hear about this. So, I feel like I should get on my virtual soapbox and shout into the wind.
I’m not a member of any religion, Christian or otherwise, and I don’t care about what religion anyone belongs to any more than I care what race someone is. Whether you’re Christian, Jewish, Muslim or Pastafarian has nothing to do with the situation. I think the separation of church and state is extremely important and I think religion has no place in government. However, my argument is, and always has been, that there are really two Christmases. First, there’s the “baby Jesus Christmas.” I’m referring to the religious holiday that the Christians only celebrate. Then there’s the Christmas that’s for everyone, the “Santa Claus Christmas.” Yes, Christmas started as a religious holiday, but it has evolved into the secular version that most of us celebrate today. Christmas is about decorating, giving gifts & cards, being with family and friends and spreading goodwill. Those parts of Christmas are unrelated to religion. Christmas is my favorite time of the year and it sickens me when I hear of schools, businesses or anyone else referring to Christmas as “The Holiday” or “The Winter Holiday.” It just seems ridiculous. I’ve never read the Bible but I’m pretty sure that there’s no mention of Santa Claus, eggnog, candy canes or flying reindeer in there.
So, I’m very glad that the for once, the whiney minority was shut down by the sane majority. It doesn’t happen often, but it’s a sweet victory when it does.
The Philadelphia Inquirer’s article regarding the Christmas Village debacle is here.
Some photos from previous visits to the Christmas Village can be found in the Photos section of this site.