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Christmas signs: It’s OK to say what you feel | Editor's Notebook
The holiday season certainly kicked into high gear in several ways last week.
When December hits, the weather turns cold on us, the shopping “mauls” get crowded — and someone in Redmond brought the city regional and national attention by posting “It’s OK to say, Merry Christmas” signs around town for the second year in a row.
In our question of the week, 84.2 percent of the readers who answered said they approve of the signs, while 15.8 percent of readers said no to the green signs with white lettering, which are also emblazoned with Bible verses.
According to Redmond Mayor John Marchione last week, no one complained to the city about the signs and they’re “treating them like a freedom-of-speech issue.” The signs were posted in public right-of-ways near City Hall, the downtown library and in front of some schools and churches. As of Tuesday night, the sign near City Hall was missing and one of the signs near the library was moved in front of some bushes, so apparently some people are taking their viewpoints into their own hands.
I think it’s commendable for the sign poster to say how he or she feels during the holidays. It’s done anonymously, but they’re still making their point and getting people talking about it. It’s generated lively pro and con comments on our website and Facebook page and I’m sure people are discussing this with friends, family members and colleagues, as well. The story ran on the national news and people visited our site to let us know about it and give their two cents worth about the signs.
It is OK to say, “Merry Christmas” … and “Happy Holidays,” “Happy Hanukkah,” “Happy Kwanzaa” and whatever else you choose to say, not just during this time of the year but all year round during other cultural celebrations, as well.
Whether it’s the holidays or every day, it is OK to be open-minded and listen to others’ views and maybe learn something from them along the way. It’s a two-way street, though, and others need to give us an equal say, even if they don’t agree with our viewpoint.
Here’s a few website and Facebook comments from readers about the signs. If you’re moved to speak out on the issue, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• “I’m not recommending that these signs be treated differently from other signs. But why do we need to allow any signs of this type in public spaces? It’s just littering. If somebody wants to make a free speech argument, let them stand there and hold the sign. And take it home when their feet get too cold.”
• “On my way to Redmond to pull them down.”
• “I have no problem with anyone wishing anyone a happy anything. But I’m assuming they sign posters will be equally cheery when someone posts signs wishing them a blessed Ramadan. Right?”
• “I would rather see these signs than the useless politician endorsements.”