Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Christmas before Remembrance Day?

If I put up my Christmas decorations and tree up before Remembrance Day, does that make me un-patriotic?

Today I was poked, had a finger pointed in my face, and was told "you ought ta be ashamed" because I decorated for Christmas today.

By what standard does it so clearly state that I must wait until November 12th to begin enjoying the holiday season? Is this a "no white shoes after Labour Day" thing or did I miss something? Maybe I'm being naive, I don't know.

Look . .. there I go sounding un-patriotic. The truth is, I'm just as supportive of Remembrance Day as the next person. I had family who fought overseas and were a part of the sacrifice Canadians had to make for the safety of our country and I appropriately honour them by keeping them close to my heart on Remembrance Day. I also stand proudly beside others who may have similar circumstances and take comfort in keeping company with those who understand. That is how I've chosen to celebrate/commemorate that day and I can do so with or without a Christmas tree but I've chosen to do so with.

I'll tell you what I don't do. I don't take the paid holiday, sit around getting as drunk as I can at the Legion, lose my poppy getting cut off and thrown out at 2pm, pretend to be patriotic for an afternoon then forget about Canadian heritage for the other 364 days of the year. Give me a break.

It's prejudice to think that because I'm hanging a stocking in November, I'm not patriotic. Because who I am and the way I remember and honour those before me isn't up for debate, it's a choice I make. No one can tell me how I'm supposed to honour the dead and they most certainly can't tell me when my holiday spirit kicks in. Individuality is based on the idea that we're allowed to make personal, moral, and ethical choices without prejudice. If it's respect that's the issue here, then maybe we should respect what the soldiers were fighting for at the Battle of Vimy Ridge. The bravely foung and died so we could find peace, understanding and . . . wait for it . . . tolerance.

If this blog were about the double standards that go on up here, it'd be a never ending catalogue of examples that would inevitably end with comment wars that undermine the value of the content and the place on which we're discussing... like YouTube. But this isn't about race or equality, this is about being human, being an individual, and being a proud Canadian; sorry, but I won't stand for this. Most of all, I love Iqaluit and this whole ordeal takes away from that.

I was raised Anglican Catholic, born in Canada, and as soon as I see snow I think of Christmas. It's no disrespect to anyone or any part of Remembrance Day, and if anyone has a problem with the tree in my window . . . look away, turn away, or keep it to yourself. Because as I wrapped up the rude intrusion on my personal space, I apologised for offending this middle aged man. I offered to shake his hand as I apologised for my unintentional actions. He pulled his hand immediately away and left with a bold statement: "...you white people think you know everything ..."

This town does it to itself sometimes . . .

Sorry everyone. Please have a Happy Remembrance Day in any manner you wish. Because at the end of the day, we're all Canadian.

Je Me Souviens.


indigo said...

sigh, it is probably going to take a few more generations (and we all will be long gone) before the colonizers versus the host angst is gone or homogenized enough it is not noticed

Anonymous said...

Very well said! I shared this link in a FB status of a friend of mine, whom is against decorating before November 11. I'm with you on this one sistah! ~ Sudbury, Ontario

Anonymous said...

I too believe that you should be able to decorate when you want. I personally love the lights, they help me conquer the depressing feeling of the dark so early in the evenings. I too have family that served and I have no disrespect for them when I am putting up my Xmas decorations. As a child we put up our decorations early and we always participate in wearing the poppy and partaking in the Remembrance Day ceremonies. People need to stop telling me I am rude and disrespectful for doing this as there is no relevance to that statement.