As soon as November hits, it seems that the Halloween decorations are instantly replaced with Christmas decorations, turning the local neighbourhoods into an early festive scene. However, in recent years, there has been an outcry from some people who are against early Christmas décor. Their main reason – it’s insulting to veterans and to Remembrance Day.
Without fail, we are just tiptoeing into November and the argument is enflaming again. My social media feeds are packed with people on both sides of the argument. One distant friend said that veterans fought for our freedom to choose, which includes when and how to decorate their own property.
I choose to stay out of Internet debates because it can quickly lead to dark places, but I have to admit that I was tempted to say something in rebuttal to her specific argument. While it is true that Veterans did go to war for our freedoms, it wasn’t specifically for our freedom of choice, and it doesn’t mean that decorating in Christmas themes early is distasteful.
Admittedly, I’m a bit of Grinch when it comes to Christmas, meaning that almost anytime is too early for Christmas decorations for my taste, and I realize I’m an anomaly in that manner. However, I do think that there should be a bit of breathing room between pumpkins and Santa Claus lawn ornaments, and it’s not too much to ask for two weeks, especially when there is an important day of remembrance to honour before we should start saying Happy Holidays.
Remembrance Day is easily overshadowed by Christmas, but it’s important to celebrate it and honour the tradition. To spend one day in salute to the Canadian men and women who fought in the World Wars, among others, almost doesn’t seem like enough to give them. They gave us their courage, and in return we give them one day a year of honour. The least we can do is make sure that it’s bagpipes, not sleigh bells, that are being heard the loudest on November 11.
Since moving to Fernie, I’ve heard that it morphs into a scene from a snow globe this time of year, with the snow capped mountains and nicely decorated streets. And, despite my Grinch-like disposition, I’m excited to see it. But I’ve also heard of the strong community bond that Remembrance Day ceremonies create throughout the Elk Valley, with people from all ages coming together to pay respect with parades, poppies and moments of silence. I’m more excited to experience Remembrance Day in the Elk Valley than I am to see the Holiday decorations. And I hope that others are as well.