Manitoba

Store's decision to put Remembrance Day ahead of Christmas ignites debate

Bigway Foods in St-Pierre-Jolys is leaving shelves empty of Christmas items to respect veterans

Bigway Foods leaves store shelves empty, except for signs that read "Lest We Forget"

The staff at Bigway Foods in St-Pierre-Jolys are leaving some shelves empty, except for signs that read "Lest We Forget." (CBC)

The story about a small-town Manitoba store that has decided to ban all things Christmas until after Remembrance Day has hit a nerve across the country.

The story has been shared more than 7,300 times and has garnered nearly 200 comments, with strong opinions both in favour and against the move.

Some shoppers in at the St-Pierre Bigway Foods have started to bring in and post photos and stories about veterans. (CBC)
The staff at Bigway Foods in St-Pierre-Jolys are leaving some shelves empty, except for signs that read "Lest We Forget."

Some shoppers in the community, about 50 kilometres south of Winnipeg, have started to bring in and post photos and stories about veterans.

But not all are in favour of the move, and a debate has raged in the comments section of the CBC story — a sample of which follows:

  • turbocharged

Thank You Bigway Foods! I will go out of my way to shop at your store. Awesome.

  • Tusker

As a son, grandson and nephew of veterans, Thank You for your respect! 
I wish all patriotic stores and consumers would follow your lead.

  • YK'er 4 Life

Let's hope more stores follow your stellar lead by example approach. If I lived there, you would have my business!

  • Kaht

Well Done Bigway Foods! are you listening Walmart, Costco, etc....

  • mark

I have heard a lot of people asking for this. Good for bigway.

  • Jay Calnek

finally someone gets it and takes a stand! Thank you!

  • Tazman572

As a serving member of the RCAF,(34+ yrs.), I thank Bigway Foods for a small token of respect that touches so many lost men. 
Per Ardua Astra.


Others wonder what the fuss is all about.

  • North_of_53

My mom served in the RAF during WW2, I lost four out of five uncles in WW2, I have two serving family members who have both been to the middle East for numerous tours, My oldest brother served in the Malaysian and Aden conflicts, and my dad was a firefighter during the blitz. And I don't understand how turning on lights, or shopping for Christmas gifts or anything to do with Christmas makes me respect them less. if I see Christmas lights or decorations, I an certainly not offended, why would I be? 

  • A. Farmer

A non issue to me. I can honour Remembrance Day no matter what is or isn't on the shelves of stores. I see no reason to try to make people feel lesser for whichever side they may be on.

  • Chris Guenther

Since when are Remembrance Day and Christmas mutually exclusive? One could argue the two have nothing to do with each other and a store stocking Christmas items before Remembrance Day or putting up decorations in no way disrespects veterans because it has nothing to do with it! Nobody is suggesting to get rid of Remembrance Day so I do not understand where all of a sudden this vilification of people who want to celebrate Christmas before November 11th has come from!

  • Julius No, Ph.D.

What's this now? What does putting up Christmas decorations have to do with Remembrance Day? When did this become a thing? Can we please stop the nonstop glorification of war? I'll take the commercialization of Christmas over the glorification of war any day. My two cents.

  • Voska1

I don't see the issue. There has been Christmas stuff on shelves in some stores since August as pointed out in the survey. Since when did Christmas mean disrespecting veterans? I'm just no seeing the connection. Personally I rather see the Christmas stuff rolled out Dec 1st but that has nothing to do Remembrance day.


Some were quick to offer some clarification.

  • lars

@Voska1 The point is that by feeding the commercial giant, that is Christmas sales, there tends to be a distraction from Nov. 11, Remembrance Day...a very significant place in our countries history, and fabric. Not to distract from the Christmas message, but commercialism has taken grip of the festive season to the point of where we have forgotten what it is really about. We dare not loose that message for our service men and women.

  • Mr. Creosote

@Julius No, Ph.D. I don't think remembrance day is a glorification of war. Quite the opposite, I believe.


Wrong focus?

Still, other readers suggested people are directing their enmity in the wrong direction. They suggest people stop denigrating stores and instead take an active role in Remembrance Day, or look inward, if it means that much.

  • edbetterley2

I support the stores right to do as they wish,even though i don't want to see Christmas decorations until after Remembrance Day.More important in this debate is the actually act of remembering and talking part in the Remembrance Day events and the act of donating for a poppy to support the disabled vets.

  • SNAFOO

This business of waiting until after Remembrance Day is nothing more than bleating from self-righteous people who crave some nonsense to make themselves appear morally superior. Putting up Christmas decorations does NOT take away from the Remembrance Day services or in any way show disrespect. Put this whole issue in the trash where it belongs.

  • Ron Trickey

I have respect all year never mind for one day, does not matter to me whatsoever. We live in Canada do what you want, people are wound up way too much over trivial things.

  • Endangered Cdn

I'm a veteran, most of my friends are veterans, my parents, in-laws and grand parents were veterans and I don't see the issue. 

Put your decorations out before the big freeze and do it with a Poppy proudly worn on your chest, but please take your family out to a ceremony on Remembrance Day because in the end that is all that matters. 

When everyday people out number the vets and soldiers at a ceremony it will do more to help out the vets then boycotting lights.

  • Jamie

Respect is in the heart and each person has their own way of showing it!!


And finally, there were those who just missed the point altogether.

  • yokelman

It would be nice to have no snow this Christmas.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.