Many religions have a holiday this time of year

Over the years I have continued to celebrate and enjoy this traditional holiday…without it being attached to…any religious meaning for me.

To the editor:

I take exception to the letter by Gary Barnhardt entitiled Calling It Like It Is—Christmas Is The Proper Name For This ‘Holiday Season,’ Nov. 30 Capital News.

I grew up in a home where Christmas was celebrated, as a religious holiday.

But, over the years, I have continued to celebrate and enjoy this traditional holiday that my family and my community embrace, without it being attached to or have any religious meaning for me. It is a beautiful time of year—the ambiance of lovely music and lights, goodwill, associations with friends and family.

But, it is not the proper name for this season. It is as much about other practiced celebrations, to others, as it is about Christmas. Two for example: Kwanzaa is the week-long festival honoring African-American heritage and Hanukkah is the eight-day Jewish holiday. There is a large community of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Kelowna who do not celebrate Christmas at all.

This has nothing to do with political correctness. It has to do with honoring and respecting the fact that Canada is a mosaic, not a melting pot, of cultures, religions and celebrations and we need to be mindful that this Christian celebration of Christmas is not practiced or believed in by everyone.

It is my experience that those who do not celebrate Christmas, generally still support those of us who do and are gracious in the process. But, I wonder how many of us show others a similar respect or interest in the celebrations that are of equal value to them and their families.

There is absolutely no need to dig our heels in and insist that this is Christmas and only Christmas. I am always so baffled how the Christian message of love often gets so lost in the manifestation of daily living.

Happy holiday season to all.

Elaine Thomas, Kelowna

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