It is unfortunate that we live in a time when the voices of the few mute the voices of the majority. It is not surprising that a newspaper that I receive every week and one that I find has an ever so slight lean to the left would succumb to the pressures or the wants of the few who are offended at the mere mention of the word “Christmas.”
I say this because even you seem to be a little confused on your position in the matter. In your issue dated Nov. 4, you post the date and the particulars of the upcoming annual “Christmas” parade in Little Washington. I was pleased to see that out here in the beautiful and rural county that I love, it is still called Christmas after all. Then just when I thought all was well in Rappahannock, your issue dated Nov. 25 reveals a sinister adjustment to the season. It is now and suddenly referred to as the annual “holiday” parade.
This inexplicable and subtle change to this event left me saddened, angry and disappointed in your newspaper.
Have you buckled under the times and doing your best to appease those who would call this season anything else but what it is? Was the person who inadvertently described it as a “Christmas Parade” reprimanded and summarily dismissed? I would hope not and I would love nothing more than you to report back on how well the “Christmas Parade” went. That is, if any one at this newspaper cares to cater to the majority of its readers.
“It is what it is” seems to be the newest catch phrase these days. Perhaps a little overplayed but simple in its message, I couldn’t help but think of it when I sat down to write this letter. Christmas “is what it is.” You didn’t call it the Macy’s Holiday parade, did you? No, it was a Thanksgiving Day parade. Just like a St. Patrick’s Day parade or a Fourth of July parade, it is what it is.
Everywhere I turn, Christmas is being erased. From commercials to billboards to the radio station that plays nothing but Christmas music, we are afraid to call it what it is. Please say that has not happened in our wonderful Rappahannock County. This will undoubtedly never see the light of day or be printed in your paper. I felt compelled to voice my opinion and I know I speak for many, many more like me.
Roderick S. Osborne
Editor’s Note: Assuming the “inexplicable and subtle change” referred to the line in “The Rapp” column on Nov. 25 which called the event “the ‘Little’ Washington Festival and Holiday Parade,” the phrase was actually lifted from a press release from the event’s organizers. No intentional renaming of the parade and festival was planned or attempted, then or since. Moreover, that item ran under the headline, “Christmas in Washington” — a headline not provided by a press release but written personally, and without much deliberation, by an editor here at the Rappahannock News.
If the editor was leaning ever so slightly to the left at the time, it had nothing to do with politics, or religion, but with the eyestrain that sometimes comes with trying to make sure every voice in this community is heard in this community’s newspaper.
I hope that you, and any other readers who might have incorrectly assumed we’d joined the War on Christmas, will be less saddened, angry and disappointed in us — and will continue to take the time to write letters to the editor, even if you assume (incorrectly) that we would fail to print them. — R.P.