Let's not kill joy of the season

For most people, Christians included, the Christmas period also celebrates the end of the old year and the welcoming of a new one. It also heralds an exciting shopping season for all.

So, I agree with Ms Goh Wan Ting's observation (Young and old excited by Disney-themed Christmas; Nov 17).

No one is robbing anyone of his religious festival (Celebrate, but don't rob believers of their festival; Nov 20).

The light-up for Deepavali is for sharing the joy of the Festival of Lights and promoting festive shopping.

I am sure Chinese people would not object to Disney characters and other wholesome icons being part of Chinatown's celebration of Chinese New Year.

That is because the idea is not just to celebrate the occasion but also to attract the crowds to ring up business.

As a secular nation, Singapore does not treat the year-end season as a purely religious festival.

Isn't it wonderful that everyone, irrespective of their religion, can enjoy the season without seeing crosses, biblical characters and conical trees and baubles everywhere?

Does that not enhance the inclusiveness and celebration of spiritual love that Christians are supposed to practise and share?

Christians can still celebrate in religious fashion at home and in church, and via charity efforts, but expecting the general public and the authorities to stick to a religious theme is expecting too much.

Let us not diminish or even kill efforts to add wholesome excitement and wholesome non-religious themes to a season that attracts broad participation and spreads joy.

Let us celebrate our uniqueness as a multi-religious, secular state and let all of us celebrate inclusiveness and universal love, and increase the buzz and joy of the season.

Lim Ang Yong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 22, 2018, with the headline 'Let's not kill joy of the season'. Print Edition | Subscribe