Desert Tale

Number 7, Volume 1

Bah Humbug to Political Correctness

A Chase Bank branch in Southlake, Texas, just ordered a Christmas tree removed from the lobby because some minorities complained that it offended them.  A decorated tree is simply an icon representing the Christmas spirit that millions, I repeat, the majority of Christians in this country use to celebrate the birth of Christ, and commence a round of festivities.  December, is always a happy time of the year full of bright lights, presents, baking, and family reunions.  Children wait all year for these colorful weeks of time off school to build snowmen and make angels in the snow, and to experience the closeness with family and friends that the Christmas holidays offer.  When I think back to my childhood Christmases, I get a warm feeling in my tummy which gets me through a difficult day.

Removing the tree because it might offend a handful of minorities in the community was an erroneous corporate decision, because hundreds of customers have written to the bank cancelling their Chase accounts. Admittedly, the executive might have bent to the pressure of one or two large foreign account holders.  And we always have to be respectful of the rights of the minorities, but that does not give them unlimited powers over our culture. Nor are we going to change our traditions to accommodate them.  If they don’t like living here, they are free to leave, but they are not free to dictate terms to us with their oil money.

But by offending us, Chase obviously made a bad business decision.  The sale of Christmas trees provides jobs for hundreds of people who deposit their meager paychecks into their (now closed) checking accounts.

While Americans welcome foreigners and minorities in this great country, we will not tolerate them trying to destroy our very American way of life.  IT’S A WONDERFUL  LIFE, film with Jimmy Stewart, is still shown on television at this time of the year, as is MIRACLE ON 34 STREET, two American classics which denote the American spirit.  These stories relate the story of families which live by faith, hope, and love, which is what Christmas is all about.

I lived in Moscow, USSR, during the years 1970 – 1973, and there were no Christmas trees to buy, as the Communists did not permit the celebration of this Christian holiday.  There were no electric lights or parties, and the stores were empty; it was a dull, grey, monochromatic, dismal December in a Marxist state.  However, my family had an artificial tree which I decorated every year while drinking egg nog made with vodka, and singing: ‘All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth,’ to an old Spike Jones record. We went to the dacha in the country, cut down a small fir tree, decorated it, and invited other embassy staff members to celebrate with us.  We had the best time of our lives thumbing our nose up at the atheists. They were so jealous of the good times we were having, they wanted to join in. Because it was the “Christian” thing to do – we invited them in out of the freezing cold, and after several bottles of vodka, we dispelled the cold war, because happiness is contagious.

I have a friend in California who left her tree up for three years, “because it was so pretty, I couldn’t take it down.  It took me one month to decorate it, and I wanted to look at it.” A tree gives pleasure, not because it is a Christmas tree with colorful ornaments and toys, but because of what it represents:  our time of the year to be happy and we have to grasp bits and pieces of happiness wherever we can find it.  “Without art the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable.” George Bernard Shaw.   Without a tree, the spirit of Christmas would be unbearable too.  If Chase wants to be so politically correct, then we, the Christmas elves, can take our presents to a friendlier bank.

Alinka Zyrmont