You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

letters | Christmastime, in other words

Religious observance overwhelmed by secular symbols

Kevin T. McLaughlin wonders why there is a “holiday tree” but not a “holiday candelabra” (instead of a menorah) in Copley Square (“Do you see what I see?” Letters, Dec. 11). The answer is that, while the menorah is central to the religious significance of Hanukkah, Christmas trees have nothing to do with the birth of Christ. A better parallel would be a manger scene: a “holiday creche” would make no sense either.

Christians have allowed their religious observance to be mixed up with, and overwhelmed by, secular symbols like Christmas trees, reindeer, and candy canes. In my opinion, menorahs and mangers and carols about wise men should be celebrated in the houses of worship where they belong, while Santa Claus and his associates should be cut loose from their tenuous association with Christianity and recognized for what they already are: symbols of a secular end-of-year celebration known as “the holidays,” which can be enjoyed by all.

Kathy Olney

Acton

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.