IS IT MY IMAGINATION or is the Christmas spirit alive and well?
Oh, I know, the nasties, thieves and scam artists are busy trying to cancel out the good work done by the many community volunteers who serve meals at shelters, collect toys for kids, deliver hampers and raise funds for good causes.
There was, for example, the rip-off of not one but two Sally Ann kettles on the same day. And there are the usual crimes of opportunity, including smash and grabs from vehicles in which shoppers have left purchases in plain view.
And COVID has certainly put a damper on things — if this isn’t a lockdown Christmas it’s sure beginning to feel a lot like it.
But maybe the pandemic has given us an unexpected gift — freedom from Christmas correctness.
Think back over the past few years of Christmas shaming.
Remember when a member of Victoria City council — that bastion of progressive thinking — tried to ban Christmas street decorations, including fir trees and poinsettias?
Then, of course, there were the song police.
Most famously, just a couple of years ago, Baby It’s Cold Outside was banned by several radio stations and even the CBC. Well, baby, it’s back. Nobody’s grouching about Christmas songs this year.
And there are more Christmas TV movies than ever. They all still have the same plot, of course — big-city executive who has lost the spirit of Christmas returns to home town, finds love and ends up saving the library, toy store or Christmas-tree farm from greedy developers.
And the biggest bummer of all — trying to ban using the very word “Christmas” is gone. No more calling it the holidays, or the holiday season or festive season. Or even, if you’re a Seinfeld fan, Festivus.
Nobody is worried about any of that this year. The war on Christmas is, at the least, in remission, even though COVID isn’t.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at email@example.com.