Posted by: bkivey | 24 December 2014

It’s Christmas Time in the City?

Over the years I’ve noticed a diminuation in Christmas decorating efforts by public and private entities. I used to enjoy going downtown and looking at the Christmas displays in malls and department stores, but that little pleasure has apparently been relegated to ‘the good old days’. The City of Portland still does something:

Pioneer Square Christmas 2014

That’s the 120′ Douglas fir (officially a ‘Holiday Tree’, but no one calls it that) placed in Pioneer Square annually, and the statue on the right is ‘Allow Me’ donning a sweater for the holiday season. There are some lighted trees along the downtown light rail tracks, but that’s it. None of the stores or city buildings had wreaths, poinsettias, ribbons, or any other Christmas adornments. Christmas decorating reached a nadir in the town where I live:

Downtown Hillsboro 1412.24


That’s the main drag of the county seat of Hillsboro on December 24th. The only red and green in sight are the traffic lights. Not to be outdone, a local strip mall carried through with the theme:

Hillsboro strip mall 1412.24

Same town, same date.

So what happened to Christmas?

What happened was the tyranny of the minority. An extremely small group of petty, vindictive, small-minded individuals decided that if they couldn’t enjoy the season, then by God no one else would, either.  Government has apparently decided that they’d rather destroy tradition than fight in court, and business is scared that a handful of people will somehow destroy their profitability.  I’d say that those who refuse to fight are more culpable than the instigators.

Here’s the thing; as far as I’m aware, every time some disaffected asshole has taken the Christmas fight to court, they’ve lost. Judges take a dim view of people who claim to speak for some afflicted class, and it turns out they’re only speaking for themselves. Public and private entities should absolutely take these people to court. The sort of people who make an issue out of a cultural tradition aren’t hip-deep in lawyers, guns, or money. And like most bullies, if they get beaten, they’ll leave you alone.

People like tradition. They especially like a tradition that allows them to kick back a little at the end of the year after they’ve busted their humps the previous twelve months. Cultural traditions aren’t supposed to be all things to all people. They come about so a population has a common touchstones to bind the members together. Yes, Christmas is a Christian holiday, but the US is nearly 80% Christian. A lot of non-Christians enjoy the holiday, so if someone feels offended by the fact that they can’t get over themselves, I have no sympathy for them.

Christmas spotted!

I moved to Hillsboro in November, and it turns out that people in this town (if not the city government) love themselves some Christmas. It’s been fun looking at the yard and house displays while driving around town. I took some pictures in my neighborhood tonight:

Christmas lights 2014.01

It appears Jesus, Mary, and Joseph are attended by reindeer and . . Santa?

Christmas lights 2014.02

               Let there be light.

Christmas lights 2014.03

Most of the houses on this block are decorated.


Christmas lights 2014.04

Behold: Santa Duck


Hannukah lights

Hanukah lights are apparently a thing.

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas!




















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