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Frosty reception misguided

The fake war on Christmas has gotten off to an exceptionally early start this year.

The Shoppers Drug Mart chain had started playing holiday music right after Halloween. But after customer complaints that it’s too early in the season, they’ve turned off the tunes. Tammy Smitham, Shoppers vice president of communications, told the Toronto Star that Christmas music will be back later in the season. This isn’t such an unusual story: company responds to customer feedback. But what is unusual is the furor this story caused. One customer went so far as to let Shoppers  know she won’t be back unless they agree to play Christmas music. The Toronto Star story was widely shared on social media, and garnered more than 250 online comments.

Many people feel Christmas music should be reserved until after Remembrance Day, out of respect for veterans. Others like to get into the spirit early, and start right after Halloween. Still others feel that any limitation of yuletide carols, done by anyone at any time, is trampling on the rights of Christians to celebrate their most sacred day.

Veterans have fought and died in many wars for many reasons. But one of the most important reasons was to protect Canadian freedoms, which includes the right to play, or not play, Christmas music at any time of year.

The fact that one store chain decided to postpone playing Silent Night until later is not a war on Christmas nor a slight to Christians. It is simply a business responding to the preference of some clients. In the past, Shoppers has always started playing Christmas music right after Halloween, Smitham said. But people on both sides of this ridiculous issue seem more determined than ever to be oversensitive and bristly about any offense, real or perceived. And though they have the right to voice their opinion, it doesn’t mean they should.

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