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House of Cards playing out with council

Posted on November 23, 2017 by Vauxhall Advance

By Greg Price
Taber Times

I have a multi-million dollar idea that is going to make me very, very rich.

I think I may just pitch it to Dragons’ Den to see if I can get the start-up capital to make my champagne wishes and caviar dreams come true.

Just picture it, it is season’s greetings cards that say Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays on them.

I’m gathering these cards will make me a lot of money because apparently none of these types of cards are available in southern Alberta.

Town council voted 6-1 to purchase Christmas cards for this upcoming Christmas season wishing everyone a ‘Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year’.

According to administration, a council member made a request to have a discussion regarding the substance and messaging of the Christmas cards that are sent to staff and various external stakeholders.

In the process, town council has voted to remove the more secular messaging from their annual Christmas cards in favour of replacing it with a greeting more closely associated with the Christian religious holiday.

I’m gathering by councillor Jack Brewin making the request, previous town cards issued at this time until late December had Happy Holidays on them before, and my first thought that came to mind was ‘why does it have to be one or the other?’

Of all the card companies that are out there for the town to purchase its 140 bulk cards from, not one generic card has the terms Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays both on them?

In one fell swoop, it would appease those devoted to their religion in which Dec. 25 is earmarked for in the birth of Christ and for others in town of different faiths or do not celebrate Christmas (like Jehovah Witnesses) or agnostic or atheists alike.

Because as dissenting councillor Carly Firth pointed out, while I’m sure people won’t be rioting in the streets by having a well wish of Merry Christmas told to them, the town does represent all different types of people in its constituency.

For most of us in the middle of various religions and belief structures, I am sure it is much adieu about nothing in the end, as I take no offence either way. In the earlier parts of the season, I tend to say Happy Holidays simply because I find it odd to say Merry Christmas when we are not even in the month yet that celebrates Christmas. Kids who get multiple weeks off of school and the parents who take time off work to join them are after all, enjoying their holidays.

But as we creep closer to the big day in December, I switch it up to Merry Christmas.

I hope by doing so, people on one side are not calling me an ungrateful heathen and on the other side screaming at how they celebrate Festivus with their ‘Feats of Strength’ and ‘Airing of Grievances,’ so I shouldn’t cram religion down their throats by dare saying a warm greeting of Merry Christmas.

This War on Christmas on both sides of the radical right and left I seem to never understand.

In imagining what Jesus would do, I don’t think boycotting a small business because of words they say in a one-month time frame, possibly bankrupting them if the boycott is large enough by enough like-minded people, is the caring thing the Son of God would do. Sears, Wal-Mart, Target, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Gap, Chase Bank, Wachovia Bank, Philadelphia’s Christmas Village and Starbucks have all felt the wrath having all suffered damage on both sides in the hyper sensitivity over simply what words they use in their promotional materials or the designs or colours they use on their coffee cups.

On the other end, seeing the love and fellowship of Nativity scenes, brightly lit up houses, school concerts and church services to the point that I can’t see how simply greeting someone with a smile and greeting of Merry Christmas in camaraderie and good will all the sudden enslaves me in the chains of unwanted religious dogma.

I don’t claim to know what is going on in the hearts and minds of our town councillors, but I hope non-Christians are not seen as second-class citizens in their rights as a citizen in the Town of Taber in all the things that constitutes running a town.

And I hope in the minds of some of the citizenry, a Bah Humbug! attitude does not emerge just because of the way council address their thanks this Christmas season.

So Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all you readers. Whether in your home you have a Christmas tree or an unadorned aluminum Festivus Pole, you are all aces in my book.

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