Prime Time Crime


(Published in the Similkameen Spotlight week of Dec.  5, 2005)

It’s called Christmas – Get Over It

  By John Martin

The humbuggers are at it early this year.

While traditional symbols of Christmas celebration have been under attack for a couple decades, the present day assault against any and all things Christmas has become ludicrous.  Each year the attempts to eliminate Christmas under the notion that celebrating the 25th of December is offensive and excludes non-Christians keeps getting sillier.

This year, the city of Boston is first out the gate in the great race to sanitize Christmas.  For more than thirty years Nova Scotia has donated a giant evergreen to Beantown as a thank-you to the people of Boston for their assistance following the 1917 Halifax explosion.

But in an effort to cow tow to the politically correct, anti-Christmas brigade, city officials have ruled the annual offering must now be referred to as a “holiday tree.”  The disgusted Nova Scotia logger who harvested the Christmas tree is now wishing he’d thrown it in the chipper instead.

A while back it was the Manitoba legislature proudly proclaiming that the tall green thing with lights and tinsel was in fact a Multicultural Tree.  What absolute nonsense.  No wonder their hockey team packed up and left.

Then we had the Royal Canadian Mint deciding that the famous carol, The Twelve Days of Christmas, should be renamed, The Twelve Days of Giving.  (Given what we now know about former Mint boss David Dingwall’s entitlements, maybe they should have renamed it “The Twelve Days of Taking.”)

Several commercial outlets have been accused of instructing employees to avoid greeting customers with the words “Merry Christmas”.   The world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart, encourages staff to wish shoppers “Happy Holidays” and avoids the word “Christmas” in its advertising.

Christmas Concerts and Pageants have been replaced with such meaningless drivel as “Winter Concerts,” “International Holiday Celebrations,” “Solstice Gatherings” and “Seasonal Music.” 

The American Civil Liberties Union has once again threatened to sue any school board or town council that gets involved with “the Christmas thing.”  Numerous schools have been advised by lawyers to cancel their productions of A Christmas Carol and to avoid any classroom activities that have a Christmas theme. 

 A couple years ago in Minnesota, two students were disciplined for wearing red and green scarves to school.  Not to be outdone, a group of high school students in Westfield, Massachusetts were suspended last year for distributing candy canes on school property.  And here I thought drugs and weapons on school grounds were the problem.

It hasn’t got to the point where wishing someone a “Merry Christmas” is illegal.  But you might want to retain an attorney just to be on the safe side.

John Martin is a Criminologist at the University College of the Fraser Valley and can be contacted at

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