A “Merry Christmas” greeting from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George, and Princess Charlotte in an idyllic family scene, was conveyed online Friday, December 18. The snapshot to be displayed on the royals’ Christmas cards was floated out for public preview amid continuing controversy over the use of the Christian greeting versus a more inclusive holiday greeting.
According to Parade, the photo taken in October at Kensington Palace shows Kate and William kneeling with Princess Charlotte perched on her mother’s knee. Two-and-a-half-year-old Prince George hovers close to his mother. Wearing a light blue sweater and shorts, the little royal appears ready for playtime with his red wooden toy train on the grass.
Meanwhile, advocates of political correctness continue to interdict the Christian expression of goodwill in all its forms and manifestations. It seems the Jesus-inspired inclusiveness toward all walks of life, all races and all faiths, is lost to self-appointed P.C. compliance officers cracking down on such convivial expressions that might offend someone else.
Which is not to say that there has been no merry push-back against the creeping P.C. advance on traditional Christmas values.
During his term in office, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger sent off on its merry way former Governor Gray Davis’ five-year habit of calling the state capitol’s Christmas tree a “holiday tree.” According to The Washington Times, Schwarzenegger declared the tree a “Christmas tree” as long as he was in office, a decision confirmed by his staff.
“Merry Christmas” is a blessing rolling off a Christian tongue, and this utterance is accepted for its good intent even by a Jew. Prominent Jewish activist Jerome N. Gould registered his opinion on the matter in his blog The 2016 Committee.
“I am ashamed to admit it today but I was, at first, pleased when I saw, over the years, the A.C.L.U. and Multi-culti types pushing ‘Merry Christmas’ out of the vocabulary of cultural discourse in favor of the more generic ‘Happy Holidays’. I’ve grownup, though, and I’ve grown into a new perspective on this whole question and, today, when someone wishes me a Merry Christmas, I have a new response. It’s really simple- I stop what I am doing. I don’t have any hesitation or second thoughts. I wish them a great big ‘Merry Christmas’ in return. I would like to encourage all my fellow Jews to join me in this.”
The literal western mind continues to have trouble grasping the subtleties allowed by eastern thought, as reflected by this song from Japanese punk band Kemuri with its Buddhist viewpoint.
“Everyone shaking hands! Having fun! All around! Twenty-first century opens the door to the world! …we all like to celebrate, we all like to feel the happiness! We all say… Merry Christmas in a Buddhist land, people bow and smile, illuminations shine so bright.”
In 2005, the city of Boston designated their officially chosen tree a “holiday tree”, sparking one of the loudest Christmas tree controversies to date. Nova Scotia tree farmer Donnie Hatt was upset to learn the towering white spruce he’d donated to the City of Boston would be called a “holiday tree.” The indignant Nova Scotian announced that he would rather have chucked the tree into a wood chipper than have it named a “holiday tree.”
Royal photographer Chris Jelf indicated he had a merry time photographing “a very lovely family”, but added he had to be sharp to get the Christmas shot done because of two young children involved. Ignoring the brouhaha over “Merry Christmas” elsewhere, he stayed focused on the quaint garden scene with these parting words.
“I hope everyone enjoys this photo and I am honoured that the duke and duchess have decided to share it with the public.”
[Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images]