2013-12-19 / Viewpoint

The VIEW from here

Let’s try to be a little less Grinchy

Phil Foley — Staff Writer Phil Foley — Staff Writer Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,


Du kannst mir sehr gefallen!

Wie oft hat mich zur Winterzeit

Ein Baum von dir mich hoch erfreut!

O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree,

Of all the trees most lovely;

Each year, you bring to me delight

Gleaming in the Christmas night.

One wouldn’t think that something as simple as a tree would kick up so much dust. However the weekend Facebook fairly blew up locally with folks yanking over downtown Lapeer’s Christmas tree and whether state Rep. Kevin Daley’s float in Imlay City’s Polar Express Parade was an act of Christian devotion or neo-paganism.

Here’s a thought, grow up, play nice — it’s Christmas time.

Christmas and New Years, as far as I’m concerned is supposed to be a time of peace, giving and reflection on the past and future. As far as I can tell, there’s not one Christmas tradition that involves taking a poke at the neighbors.

There was a long thread over how bad the courthouse Christmas tree looked this year, heavily laced with suggestions of other people doing something.

I get it. Lapeer’s County tree was not as spectacular as the one on the National Mall or at Rockefeller Center.

This is what happens when you brag about being one of the lowest taxing counties in the state. There’s not a lot left over for extras and Christmas decorations certainly qualify as extras.

The simple solution is everyone who is unhappy with the Lapeer Area Chamber of Commerce’s efforts this year should send the Chamber’s Christmas decoration fund a check for $5 or $10.

I think my father put it best when I was a kid, “Lead, follow or get out of the way.”

If everyone who’s unhappy with the courthouse tree contributes to the Chamber’s fund, next year’s effort will be a true expression of community pride.

I’m still trying to decide if going off on Daley’s parade float was an example of the effect of low temperatures on brain cells or the semi-anonymity of


While I may not agree with every stance the Aradia Township dairy farmer takes, he’s basically a decent, well-meaning guy.

Thanks why I was taken aback when some folks took him to task for having evergreens on his float?


Ya, I get it. Once upon a time my Teutonic ancestors had mid-winter rites involving fir trees and the Romans brought greens into their homes for Saturnalia. Yep, and sinister once simply meant left-handed in Latin.

Things change.

Memorial Day was once called Decoration Day and families spent their time sitting in cemeteries with their Civil War dead. I simply don’t care what religious significance a pine tree may or may not have had to a bunch of fur clad folks living in huts far away 1,000 years ago.

They’re pretty. Mine’s hung with reminders of family and friends. If you want to cover yours with Bible verses that’s fine too. Daley’s right though, it’s important to remember the reason for the season. It’s a celebration of the birth of the Prince of Peace, not the chairman of the World Wrestling Federation.

So let’s all have a little more peace on earth and goodwill toward men.

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