Nipigon residents object to 'happy holidays' sign
Town said finding a 'Merry Christmas sign' was tough, so workers made one instead
Posted: Dec 7, 2012 3:06 PM ET
Last Updated: Dec 7, 2012 2:58 PM ET
The town hall in Nipigon is looking extra festive this year, as it’s wearing not one — but two — sets of seasonal greetings.
After the township first put up a message saying “happy holidays,” some residents complained about the erosion of a Christmas tradition. Now there's a “Merry Christmas” sign as well.
Mayor Richard Harvey said there's a reason it took the township a while to put it up.
“The first year we had a ‘happy holidays’ sign just because those — interestingly enough — are very common and easy to get,” he said.Nipigon Mayor Richard Harvey (CBC)
“To have a ‘merry Christmas’ sign … our staff actually made the sign."
Harvey said the intention was to have more than one sign — last year the town only had one ‘happy holidays’ sign up. Six years ago Nipigon had “almost no decorations around our downtown area.”
“We have set a budget … to be buying, purchasing, to be doing more and more decorations,” Harvey said.
“So now, when you come downtown Nipigon, we have … Christmas music playing on the streets. On our streetlights we have decorations and, [on] our new town hall and library, we have … a ‘happy holidays’ sign and … a ‘merry Christmas’ sign."
As the town’s budget allows, “we are adding more and more decorations as we're able to,” Harvey said, hinting there may be three signs next year.
Sign of the times
The president of the Thunder Bay Multicultural Association said the perception of Christmas is changing for many people.
"But now, it's no longer a religious holiday … it becomes part of the tradition,” Walid Chahal said. “The tradition of the country … is something to celebrate."
Chahal said he expects the debate about the appropriateness of 'happy holidays' versus 'merry Christmas' will continue for years to come.
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