XXXXXXmas in Rockefeller Center

The 77th annual tree lighting ceremony in New York’s Rockefeller Center on Wednesday evening, Dec. 2, drew more than 100,000 street spectators and perhaps millions watching the live proceedings on television. I was one of them. Without a doubt, the shining lights and smiling faces and brilliant color are truly uplifting. This event is promoted as the kickoff of the Holiday and tourism season. I have watched almost every tree lighting for decades and have appreciated the balance in terms of the music and entertainment. Classic fare, along with Christmas carols (“Drummer Boy,” “Silent Night” among many others) and appearances by choirs. So I was shocked that last evening’s program was virtually devoid of any reference to the Reason for the Season. The secular humanists have made great inroads, it seems. We cannot tolerate such an affront to our beliefs and we must make our voices heard. If you feel as I do, speak out—loud and often.  And have yourself a very Merry Christmas. 

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Beth Cioffoletti
8 years 7 months ago
Sorry, Patricia, but I just don't see how this can be done - how you can bring the Christmas story, with all of its simplicity and profundity, to a media spectacle, without losing the message. Especially now, when everything from weddings to fireworks are becoming more and more extravagant.
Maybe I am too austere, too much of a bah humbug kind of person.  The merriment and cheer of the public display of Christmas has been confusing to me all of my life.  I would rather the religious story of Christmas remain out of the secular celebration.
John Hayes
8 years 7 months ago
As I said in an comment on a different post here, there is a civil holiday called Christmas in this country which is shared by people of many religions. I think it's better to join in in celebrating it joyfully with Jews, Muslims and people of other or no faith, rather than claiming that it's "our" holiday and that that "they" must endorse our Christian beliefs as they celebrate it. 
That doesn't mean that we don't also have a specifically Christian Christmas that we and other Christians celebrate at the same time as the civil Christmas. It's an important holiday for us, but it's not the same Christmas that our non-Christian neighbors are celebrating. In the spirit of both our understanding of Christmas and theirs,  let's love them and share with them as they are, rather than haranguing them because they don't express our beliefs.    
Thomas Piatak
8 years 7 months ago
You are absolutely right.  Thanks for writing this. 
S Bond
8 years 7 months ago
This media spectical is meant to kickoff shopping season.   It would be more of an affront to my beliefs to have Jesus shoe-horned into it.  If my faith is rocked because a commercial event doesn't acknowledge my deepest spiritual beliefs, I have some issues that need pressing attention.
My advice, for what it's worth, is to skip events like these, learn a few carols, and go sing at a nursing home, or around your neighborhood as Christmas approaches, or help your church put on a children's Nativity play.
And please tell me we're not supposed to go ape again this year when the Walmart clerk says ''happy holidays''. 
It's ''controversies'' like this that cause me to find the conservative Quakers so attractive.
jim dick
8 years 7 months ago
I am all for speaking out against virulent consumerism. But to expect that such a event as the lighting of a Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center should reflect any thing except that very consumerism is ridiculous. It is like expecting Walmart to set-up a crèche next to Santa’s chair. I think it is best to ignore it and follow Saint Francis’ advice: preach the gospel, use words if necessary. In this case I think it is living a gospel life of generosity and, when words are necessary, speak out against consumerism.


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