In case you wondered how this whole writing thing got started for me – this is what I submitted to the Kansas City Star’s Midwest Voices contest last year at this time. What a wild ride it has been ever since.
Don’t Shoot Until You See the Whites of Their Candy Canes
Every year there is a war declared, but it’s not the ones we are used to hearing. It’s not the war in Afghanistan, the war on terror, or even the ongoing war on drugs. This war is declared on talk radio, on public discussion boards and in letters to the editors in newspapers around the country. What war are you asking? The War on Christmas!
I am sure you have noticed it. Walk in any mall, past all of the decorated store fronts, the Santa photo ops, mute your ears from the Christmas Carols playing over the loud speakers and you will find it, those retailers who say the dreaded Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas. Every year this is always outrage that a City Hall somewhere in America calls a Christmas tree a “Holiday Tree”. There you have it, the first shot fired in the “War on Christmas”.
I am one of a small minority who do not celebrate Christmas. I am not one who declares a “War on Christmas”. I like Christmas, my child celebrates Christmas, as a child myself I was very jealous of those who celebrated Christmas. I mean what’s not to love? I love the lights, the Christmas carols, the Christmas cookies. I do not want a nation whose Christian citizens do not acknowledge Christmas. I just do not think Christmas or any other religious holiday needs to be acknowledged on public property. That is correct, you read that right, no lights, trees or any other holiday decoration in City Hall, outside of City Hall or displayed on government property.
We have separation of Church and State for a reason in our Constitution. I value our Constitution and by valuing it I believe we could do without all the decorating of public property. First, it is tax payer money that goes to decorate public property so there is a savings here in this troubled economy. Second, it is not like we will be void of all displays of Christmas. There are houses, retail stores, Churches, private businesses all decorated for Christmas. Why do we need to blur the lines of our Constitution for a string of lights? Tradition you say? I highly doubt our Founding Fathers had a pine tree, some lights and a blow up Santa in a snow globe in mind when they celebrated their season. I believe they would have been fine if we decided not to put Christmas decorations on public property. Some traditions are fine to break and we move on. Save ourselves the headache of this Constitutional debate year after year and just do not do it. Encourage our Christian citizens to knock themselves out by stepping up their decorating. Clark Griswald yourselves out this year, bring in live camels and donkeys for your recreation of the Nativity scene if you want. Just keep it off public property. Trust me; no one will forget its Christmas time.
I officially declare this war over. Everyone lay down their tinsel and return your candy canes to your trees. Regardless of what holiday you celebrate or if you choose to not celebrate remember this is a giving season. Be kind to each other; acknowledge we are all Americans united by our Constitution. If City Hall lacks decorations life will go on. Now who is going to send me some delicious Christmas cookies?