We have a disturbing trend in this country. That is to neutralize traditional holidays in the country so as to not offend other religious groups.
Well, lets just say that Simon...just so you know..Simon, a company I know very well, is not the brightest of groups to begin with...was trying to be sensitive to other groups, and in the current climate, they were trying to do a good thing.
The problem is... This has always been a predominantly Christian country. I look back fondly on my childhood with all the holidays and traditions that I remember and I really do miss that heterogeneous life that was so charming and pleasant. The fact is though, that we are becoming increasingly multicultural, and multi religious.
We make a great mistake in trying to eradicate all our original traditions so as not to offend others. It was the origin of the country after all(after the Native American of course.) and it is not the place of newcomers to displace or eradicate the old culture in their new country. This is exactly why conserative folk become so defensive.
Instead, we should be celebrating the other religions and cultures. Just think of all the happiness, color and beauty of all those other cultures that we could bring to the Malls...but not just there, to the country in general if we all enjoyed the color and traditions of our newly arrived and our under appreciated older groups, like Jewish and Native American.
Putting up Christmas displays is not a call to all non-Christians to convert, and if we put up more blue and white dreydels, it would not be a call to Christians to convert...Islam, Indian religions, Nepali/Buddhist/Japanese religions all have their colorful and wonderful traditions, and none of them have to be offensive to any other religious group if we all just relax and say "isn't that pretty" or "How interesting those people seem to be".
Meanwhile, if a kid wants to be photographed with Santa Claus surrounded by greenery and red glass(or plastic) balls, or if a Jewish kid wants photos of himself surrounded by blue and white Chanukah decorations..so be it. Who has a right the deny them their rights?