Nativity scene display a beloved local tradition

I would like to send out a thank you to Dorothy Inglis for her efforts to bring back a beloved tradition to Summerland.

Dear Editor:

I would like to send out a thank you to Dorothy Inglis for her efforts to bring back a beloved tradition to Summerland.

For several decades a nativity scene illuminated the end of Main Street on the property of the Alex Steven house.

The appearance of the nativity scene each holiday, shining down on the town, signalled and was synonymous with Christmas for more than one generation of Summerland residents.

It looks like this lost tradition is about to make its return.

Trying to get the old nativity scene back on its perch has been discussed more than once over the years, and in recent times has unfortunately been a subject of dissent by some non-Christian residents.

I think it should be understood that the nativity scene is, first and foremost, part of the cultural heritage of our community, and need not be viewed as a religious symbol unless you choose to do so.

Christmas, ironically, was a date strategically chosen by church leaders as a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus, even though it was known that Jesus was not born in winter.

Many pre-Christian faiths and Roman traditions had celebrations on the winter solstice, and thus church leaders strategically decided to celebrate the birth of the “son of God” at the same time as “the birth” of the “new sun”.

So with this in mind it becomes a conscious decision to see the nativity scene either as a symbol of the new “son” or the new “sun”, or as just another seasonal decoration – the choice is yours.

As a strong promoter of Summerland history and heritage, I applaud the effort of those that have worked to bring back this bit of town history, and hope everybody will enjoy or at least tolerate this wonderful holiday symbol.

Rick Selinger

Abbotsford