Merry winter to you

In a school concert that includes a religious Hanukkah song and a Santa song, students will sing a de-Christmasized carol.

At Clover Creek Elementary, music teacher Mark Denison changed the lyrics in Dale Wood’s “Carol from an Irish Cabin” to read: “The harsh wind blows down from the mountains, and blows a white winter to me.”

Silly. The whole point of throwing in a few Hanukkah songs and generic winter songs is to justify singing the great Christmas songs.

About Joanne


  1. Caffeinated Curmudgeon says:

    I heard from a city maintenance worker installing strings of colored lights in a certain south bay city a couple years ago, that his department had been told the lights were to be called “winter lights”, not “Christmas lights” in any communications.

    We both shrugged and rolled our eyes at the latest silly manifestation of PC. Or should I say apropos of quotation mark abuse, “PC”?

  2. Anonymous says:

    I am waiting to hear the song selection in my kids’ concert in two weeks. I know they are practicing Hanukkah songs, and plenty of “secular” Christmas songs involving snow, Santa, etc. I am curiously waiting to hear if their is a single Christmas Carol in the bunch, by which I mean the kind we sing at church, and mentions the original, religious meaning of the holiday.

    A lot of people think they’ve got the Christian aspect covered if they have a Santa song. Wrong-o. There are two Christmases at this point, at least in the West. We have secular Christmas, which even the non-Christians celebrate to varying degrees, and then we have religious Christmas, which involves things like Advent calendars, creches, mangers, etc.

  3. I have taken recently to referring to the secular celebration of Christmas as “Lightmas”, which plays delightfully on both the winter solstice aspects of the celebration, and the tremendous displays of external house lighting that some many people choose to put on. I didn’t coin the term, but can’t remember now where I first heard of it.

  4. jeff wright says:

    Taking “Christ” out of Christmas is roughly akin to taking “United” away from United States of America. If you do the former, you might as well just throw your hands up and say, “Let’s go shopping.” If you do the latter, well, just what do you have?

    Historically, Christmas trees and Santa Claus have nothing to do with Christmas. And “secular Christmas” is a non sequitur.

    Where’s the Kwanzaa song?

  5. Sean Kinsell says:

    I was brought up in a religion that believed that Christmas was the imposition of Nimrod’s birthday on the “real” Christianity by pandering heathen-courters, et c. I wasn’t allowed to participate in Christmas concerts because they were too pagan, so these controversies make me chuckle. The world is a strange place.

    And, BTW, if there is any such thing as a “Kwanzaa song,” I’ve remained blissfully unaware of it.

  6. Mark Odell says:

    Sean Kinsell wrote: I was brought up in a religion that believed that Christmas was the imposition of Nimrod’s birthday on the “real” Christianity by pandering heathen-courters, et c.

  7. Silver bells, silver bells, in the air there’s a feeling of Kwanzaa . . . Children laughing, people passing, this is Nimrod’s big scene . . .

    Sean, I’m too lazy to read Mark’s link. In what religious faith were you raised?

  8. Sean Kinsell says:

    It was called the Worldwide Church of God, headquartered in Pasadena. We published The Plain Truth magazine, available free at diner counters everywhere, and produced The World Tomorrow telecast on weekends. For an abortive six weeks, I went to Ambassador College in Big Sandy, TX, a campus of the college affiliated with the church. It was kind of an anti-matter Jews for Jesus: Christ is the Son of God who died for our sins, but you still have to obey the laws of the Old Testament. We cleaned all the crumbs out for Passover and tithed and never ate pork or shellfish and believed that the new covenant was of the individual heart.

    And every year right before Christmas and Easter, there would a be sermons about all the elements of those holidays that had been adapted from symbols and rituals in the Babylon Mystery Religion. It was fabulous: all this stuff about mystical, dark, earthy, primal, sexually-charged power. Mark Odell’s link is from a different group (and in any case, the church I was brought up in liberalized its doctrines a decade ago and is much more nicey-American and Hallmark-y now) but is very much in line with what we studied.

    Sorry. Probably more of an answer than you needed. It just brings back memories. Merry Semiramis and Happy Nimrod!

  9. Sean Kinsell says:

    I might just mention (though I imagine it’s clear) that the mystical, dark, earthy, primal, sexually-charged power was discussed to show how evil it was. We didn’t celebrate Christmas or Easter, and there was a great deal of attention paid to how to return people’s goodwill during holiday seasons without pretending to accept Christmas and Easter as Christian holidays.

  10. Questioneer says:

    So much for religious tolerance, much less religious expression.

    I could have SWORN religious expression was a right guaranteed by the Constitution…..oh, yeah, it is.

    Welcome to the new Christian Persecution. Enjoy your stay…

  11. Wacky Hermit says:

    Hey, didn’t any of the PC Police think to change the “white” in “white winter”? Isn’t it racist to think that only white people can have snowy winters? 😉

  12. PJ/Maryland says:

    Of course there are Kwanzaa songs! (

    I guess it would be expecting a lot for them to be especially inspiring or stirring, since Kwanzaa has only been around for 30-odd years. Maybe in a few centuries (if it’s still around then) there will be some songs worth listening to.

  13. Insufficiently Sensitive says:

    Hey, Merry Christmas, everybody!

  14. jeff wright says:

    PJ, I always appreciate your input. You are a veritable fount of information. Thank you. I am now fulfilled,

    I second IS: Merry Christmas to all. Don’t get trampled out there in those malls.

  15. And a Happy Zoroastrian holiday to you too!

  16. The first comment tells the tale of why this goes on–because we just shrug and shake our heads at the latest PC idiocy.

    We all do this. It’s easy just to laugh and go about one’s business.

    And, in ten years? When the ‘winter’ lights policy is old hat? When the employees are used to getting out the ‘winter’ lights to decorate for the ‘winter’ festival season?

    Shrugging it off will only serve to slowly legitimize it. Say something about it. Tell someone how stupid it is. Make it, when appropriate, a topic of conversation.

    If enough people feel that the idea is stupid, loudly enough, politicians will feel the tide and react accordingly