Bah Humbug! When stories arise about people complaining about “Christmas” parades being cancelled or called “Holiday” parades, I have wondered how many people who say that efforts are being made to take the Christ out of Christmas realize that their parades did that long ago. While the parades say Christmas, rarely do they feature Jesus, angels, a manger scene, Mary and Joseph or anything else that resembles the true story of the Savior’s birth. Instead, they have Santa Claus, reindeer, toys, presents, snow flakes, horns and other things that are more associated with the commercial, secular ideals of the Christmas holiday. So, one could say that a name change is more honest as it seems to reflect what the parades generally show. Truth be told, the story of Christ was probably only rarely a part of most parades and if you want to really make it a Christmas Parade, then you must remove Santa Claus. But, before I paint this with too broad a brush, there is a town in Scotland that not only returned to having Christmas the centerpiece of their winter festival, it also has religious leaders speaking on hand to speak of the true meaning of Christmas. Perhaps, they should speak to a Church of England Bishop.
Now, a British Bishop is pooh-poohing traditional Christmas Carols. Rt. Rev. Nick Baines says that the traditional carols take away from the true meaning of Christmas and attempts to turn Jesus into a Father Christmas figure. The Church of England recently published his book, Why Wish You a Merry Christmas which says that the traditional songs bring forth an ideal of Victorian sentiments instead of the Biblical account of the birth of Christ. He goes on to say that the words of Away in a Manger are nonsense. He says that All Come All Ye Faithful is foolishness because the people who came, the shepherds, were not faithful but instead were considered the “great unwashed” and the wise men were “outside the covenant people of God.” I kinda side with the music director at the Eton College who says, “They bring a smile to people’s faces. There’s nothing wrong with feeling like children at Christmas.”
Come on…aren’t people on both sides of the spectrum getting a bit too overzealous? Let it be a Christmas Parade. But, if the nincompoops who have nothing better to do than act offended by a title and wish to hurt the feelings of the majority of people are going to raise a ruckous, then so what? And if people come together for Christmas and sing carols that aren’t altogether accurate, then let it go. It brings a fellowship that might not otherwise happen and perhaps may even bring people to inquire and discover the true meaning of the birth of who historians Joyce Salisbury and Dennis Sherman callbrought about “the most influential religious transformation in the ancient West.”
And you know what, when everyone agrees on a secular symbol to be put in a public square, then there is still arguing and fighting. In England, the Dorset town of Poole. They traditionally placed a Norway fir in the town square at a cost of about 500 pounds. Remember, there is a global recession. But so what? The town pooh-bahs decided that the real tree was dangerous. They said it had to be cordoned off to keep people at a distance. They say that there was always a danger that it would fall down with high winds. They say it’s a liability issue and that it costs an additional 3500 pounds to decorate. Now, keep in mind that the town leadership cut back on Christmas lights this year to save money. So, the wise leadership decided to spend 14,000 pounds on a phony tree. People are not happy. One guy says that its okay at night when all you see is lights, but that it “just looks weird during the day.” Others liken it to a giant green traffic cone, something from Dr. Who, a witches hat or that “it looks like something that just landed from outer space.”
Presumably, the new fake tree costs the same to decorate as the old tree. Why the fake tree is less likely to be blown over by winds than the real McCoy is beyond me. And, the time when they have a shortage of cash is now so the idea of spending 14,000 pounds today to save money later seems a bit off the mark. It sorta reminds me of the idea that in Vietnam, a village had to be destroyed in order to save it. To quote another source of wisdom, “can’t we all get along?”
Weather Bottom Line: The high Sunday was 60. We won’t see that again any time soon. For a longer discussion, look at the previous post as it still applies. Rain will be in the area probably through midday Monday but big t’storms along a cold front to the south will cut off a lot of the moisture. Knock about 15 degrees for Monday afternoon. Then we move back to the 50’s for midweek. End of week looks to hold for highs in the 30’s. Hey, it happens but don’t let local weather people calling it “bitter cold” fool you. I just saw one call it a “bitter blast” at the same time it was described as “cooler air.” Also, don’t get too worked up when they ballyhoo snow for Thursday. It’s not a significant event.