The Garden City Telegram
12/25/2013
OPINIONS AND COMMENTARY

Merry days: Holiday brings time to enjoy variety of festive greetings.

The beauty of another holiday season is evident throughout southwest Kansas.

Starting in downtown Garden City, visitors have to be impressed by the glorious show of lights and decorations paving the way to shopping and dining destinations.

Elsewhere in town, businesses and homeowners have adorned their properties with a variety of colorful, festive Christmas decor featuring beautiful Nativity scenes, Santa and his reindeer and more.

For years, residents of the Labrador Ridge-area subdivisions in northeast Garden City have painstakingly set up their own spectacular holiday greeting to the community in thousands of luminarias, little candles in open, sand-filled bags.

Luminarias often are displayed outdoors in a celebration of Christmas. Dubbed the Labrador Luminarias, the local display of light lining front walks and driveways has become a welcome sign of the holiday season in Finney County, a nice tradition from one local neighborhood.

As we make our way around town, and to and from holiday gatherings this time of year, such displays provide more proof that the celebration of Christmas remains strong and isn't under attack, as some conservative groups who claim there's a war on Christmas would have us believe.

The United States is predominantly Christian, and Christmas is here to stay.

Still, claims of anti-Christmas sentiment continue to ring through communities, and ramp up whenever public schools, towns, businesses or other organizations wrangle over how to observe Christian holiday traditions without showing disrespect for other beliefs.

Everyone at least should acknowledge that America is a land of different faiths. For those who might choose to offer inclusive messages that respect all beliefs and traditions — "happy holidays," for example — why would anyone else be offended?

Only the overly sensitive would waste time during the holiday season fretting over who is and who isn't including the word Christmas and the Christian tradition in their season's greetings.

It makes so much more sense to devote our time and attention to the abundance of wonderful events, displays and greetings of the season, all of which give us an opportunity to enjoy the holiday in our own personal way.

Merry Christmas!