Nothing wrong with “Merry Christmas”

I write in response to Stacia Friedman’s recent column regarding her opinions about Christmas. [“What it’s like to be a Jewish child at Christmas time,” Dec. 19]

She began by describing a group of women discussing how simply saying “Merry Christmas” is now taboo. And now, one must be “PC” and say “Happy Holidays.”

I agree with them. Christianity and Christmas have been under attack for years. References to anything that suggests some possibility of religious significance, including the Ten Commandments, are at risk of being removed from public buildings, even if they had been built 100 years ago.

Late night comedians often express no “PC” restraint when making derogatory comments about faith and religion, primarily Christianity. Recently, there were a series of mean-spirited and sarcastic references to the White House Christmas Tree.

I am not sure of exactly what point Ms. Friedman was trying to make about how she grew up exposed to the Christian faith in her schools or on TV programs.

Was she traumatized? If the Jewish population in the United States is approximately 2%, it is rather difficult to avoid exposure to Christianity.

My own family experience was quite different. They fled Russia in the late 1800s where Jews were terrorized on a routine basis. They came to this country, which espoused religious tolerance for Christianity as well as Judiasm.

I found Ms. Friedman’s final paragraph rather insulting and condescending. She ridiculed her own stereotypical versions of Christmas traditions. She diminished the sincere beliefs of many, and instead, made it all about herself.

I choose instead to wish all in our community a Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukah.

David W. Banov
Mt. Airy

An important local resource

Thanks for taking the time to talk to my husband, Dave, about his recent experience on James Corden’s Late Late Night TV show (“Mt. Airy’s ‘one-man circus’ entertains on national TV,” Dec. 12) and some of his other work (and life). We were also thrilled to see your story about our friend and neighbor, Laura Eyring (“A former ‘starving artist’ from Mt. Airy combines art, science,” Dec. 12).

We really appreciate all the great news and entertainment updates in the Chestnut Hill Local. It is such an important resource for our community. Local newspapers are so important, and I’m lucky to live somewhere that has a great one.

Rachel Darwin
Mt. Airy

A new year’s resolution

As 2020 approaches, after three years of intense activism and strategic action, I know I’ll continue to do what I can to help elect candidates that are aligned with my progressive values. That’s a given. But my 2020 New Year’s Resolution is deeply personal and a bit ambitious. I resolve to do all I can every day to strengthen democracy through acts of fairness, kindness, generosity of thought and deliberate inclusion. Democracy is at risk, and we cannot assume that the government will preserve it. Democracy is in the hands of every American.

Ellen Stevenson
Social Justice Indivisible