EDITORIAL – The gutless revisionism of Christmas traditions

Esther Williams and Ricardo Mantalban sang Baby It’s Cold Outside in the ’40s.

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

OK, WE CAN ALL STOP being cute and clever about Christmas carols.

No more tongue-in-cheek demanding that Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer be taken off the airwaves because it’s about bullying. No more insisting White Christmas be banned because it’s racist.

The issue at hand is Baby It’s Cold Outside, which has actually been banned from the CBC and a number of other radio networks because it’s about some guy trying to convince a woman to stay the night.

In the 74 years since it was written, Baby It’s Cold Outside has been accepted as a harmless Christmas tune. Not this year.

Though the male and female voices can easily be switched — as Lady Gaga has shown — lyrics that once seemed innocent and unthreatening are suddenly interpreted as a prelude to date rape.

Every Christmas song is now being examined under a microscope for hidden meanings and questionable origins. Even Jingle Bells is under suspicion.

Christmas has been turned into a silly season of political correctness, with somebody inevitably emerging with some demand or other to neutralize this celebration of peace, hope and love for fear of sending a wrong message.

A shopping mall in Prince George didn’t stop with Baby It’s Cold Outside — it banned carols altogether so as not to offend non-Christians.

Speaking of religion, how about the Victoria City councillor who talked his colleagues into reviewing the City’s Christmas decorations for possible offensive content. On the potential hit list: Christmas trees and poinsettias. Snowflakes are OK, the councillor says.

This kind of brainless revisionism is no longer surprising. What is surprising is the gutlessness of radio stations and civic leaders who go along with it.

I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (6804 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

9 Comments on EDITORIAL – The gutless revisionism of Christmas traditions

  1. It,s funny,but after nearly 84 years of life I never for a second thought of ” Baby it,s Cold Outside” as anything but a wonderful song of the winter season.How stupid not to have twigged onto it,s real message sooner.
    I,m sorry Linda Bentz,but you’r wrong, life as we knew it is not fading,it’s gone.

  2. Political correctness=end of free speech= end of democracy= autocratic Canada. We are half way there.

  3. Thank you Mel I certainly agree with you on this. It amazes me how strenuously we bend over backwards to eliminate the joy and reverence of our Christmas on the pretense that it might offend a new Canadian who has brought their own traditions with them to Canada. I too watched the Victoria TV news regarding Victoria businesses considering eliminating all Christmas decorations. Perhaps the hidden agenda is really just laziness mixed with frugality?? In my old age real Christmas Carols cause me to weep, possibly the root cause is a sadness and knowledge that life as we knew it is fading.

  4. Bang on…enough already!

  5. I agree with you Mel. This is just unfreakingbelievable to say the least. I hate to see what will be next on the hit list of the Politically Correct crowd. My view will probably be taken as racist by someone, But, this is Canada, these are OUR traditions. People moved here because things in their own countries were intolerable to them. Why do our limp wristed politicians think that we need to change to accommodate them ? If our traditions offend someone, then maybe they should have done their research, and gone to a country with different traditions.

  6. Thanks for the focus provided by the article.
    I have never thought of “A Christmas Carol” promoting the occult but maybe that is next.
    And, I shall take a few minutes to review the lineup of our own Mayor and Councillors to see if one, a few or all of them shall be my moral compass for the next four years.

    • Robert Bruce // December 10, 2018 at 8:50 AM // Reply

      Sorry “occult” and “mayor” and “councillors” had me triggered there for a sec….I’ll calm down in a sec….

  7. Ken McClelland // December 10, 2018 at 6:28 AM // Reply


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