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COLUMN: There's no war on Christmas

'You’ll excuse me if I am sick of hearing the 'Christmas is being taken away from us' narrative,' writes Shawn Gibson

It's that time of year when someone says Season’s Greetings or Happy Holidays and someone gets irrationally upset by it.

As a Christian myself, I need to ask: Can we please get over ourselves?

I have happily attended my north-end Barrie church for about 14 years and we just had our annual Christmas dinner banquet, the first since 2019. It was much needed and a great night.

The day before that, my daughter and I went to the mall to check out Christmas decorations in the many stores that had front windows decked out in Merry Christmas signs and adorned with ornaments, cards and other items.

I love this time of year and often have the radio playing non-stop festive songs such as Blue Christmas, We Wish You A Merry Christmas, Do They Know It's Christmas, All I Want For Christmas Is You and, of course, the most successful selling single of all time, White Christmas.

Not the best-selling holiday song of all time, but the best-selling single, period.

I don’t work on Dec. 25, but get paid for it, because it's Christmas. My television is full of Christmas concerts, specials and movies, with the Hallmark Channel advertising its Countdown to Christmas everywhere.

Because of all this, you’ll excuse me if I am sick of hearing the “Christmas is being taken away from us” narrative. I see it online much too often this time of year and it's just absolutely false. 

Imagine celebrating Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or any of the other religious holidays this time of year and hearing a person complain that they are losing Christmas. Ridiculous.

Schools, government buildings and other institutions that serve the entire community should absolutely use the term Happy Holidays or Season’s Greetings, since they serve everyone and not just those who celebrate Christmas. 

Businesses like grocery stores, or those who have employees who interact with the public, have every right to ask their staff to say Happy Holidays. It's the best way to greet strangers whose background is unknown.

I am a Christian and would not want any of those institutions favouring one religion over the other. So 'Happy Holidays' covers it nicely.

Don’t get me wrong. If I ever feel as though my religious rights are being taken away, infringed upon and/or abused, I would be one of the loudest to speak up. But as long as I live in North America, let's face it, I’m probably never going to have to complain.

The good news to those having to listen to this complaining is that most 'true' Christians are not doing the complaining. I wonder how many of the online chatterboxes actually attend church or follow its teachings.

I also know that if they are following any teachings that they know better on how to treat their neighbours. It's, like, our main message.

I will wish those I know a Merry Christmas, because I know what they celebrate.

I don’t know who is reading this, so hopefully Happy Holidays covers it.

If it doesn’t, please grow up.

Shawn Gibson is a staff reporter at BarrieToday and a diehard fan of all things Christmas.