I suppose it’s that time of the year. Yes, when the State Street Area Association (I assume) drags out the Christmas reindeer holiday lights to string across State Street and Liberty Street along with the lighted sign reading “Season’s Greetings.” (See photo1, slightly blurry photo2)I have a few criticisms, the first being aesthetic. The stylized reindeer remind me of some sort of 1950s kitsch best left in the past. Perhaps they could invest in some new decorations?

Also, in a city widely reputed to be a bastion of “liberalism,” secular humanism, and all sorts of other edgy, scary ideologies, you think they’d gotten beyond celebrating the holidays with imagery that means nothing to the city’s Muslims, Jews, Wicca, or any Christian or otherwise who doesn’t identify with the northern European Christian mythology surrounding St. Nicholas.

When I served on the Michigan Union Board of Representatives, (an advisory holdover from the days when the Michigan Union was actually run by students), there was a heated debate about the Union’s annual Christmas decorations, which fill the hallways and common spaces with holly, evergreens, Christmas trees, and lights. I remember we came to the tentative conclusion they should explore a less explicitly Christian motif in the future, perhaps incorporating a variety of religious imagery within a general “winter” theme.

Author: Rob