Christmas Parade's Name Draws Fire

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Back again for the holiday season: The contentious issue of using the word "Christmas" in the names of community events.

    This time, the event is the La Jolla Christmas parade and whether it should be renamed the La Jolla Holiday Parade?
     
    The debate started at a meeting of the Bird Rock Community Council, which resident Deborah Hertz attended, she said, because she loves her community. Once there, the subject of the parade -- the La Jolla Christman Parade -- was raised.

    Christmas Parade's Name Draws Fire

    [DGO] Christmas Parade's Name Draws Fire
    Back again: Whether the word "Christmas" is mentioned at public events. (Published Wednesday, Nov 17, 2010)

    Hertz said that she and her husband -- not trying to be rabble-rousers -- had to raise their hands and say what was on their minds.

    "Each -- spontaneously, without any plan -- raised our hands and said, 'We're upset,' and I was just completely taken aback by the reaction completely," Hertz said. "I expected people to say, 'Oh, my gosh, you're so right ... Christmas, it's not a universal holiday, let's get Bird Rock behind the change.' "

    Hertz is a professor of German and Jewish History at UCSD. As a Jew, she said that including the word "Christmas" in the name of a community parade makes her feel excluded.

    "How could I not?" Hertz said. "I'm not neutral. It's not that I have no religion. I'm very proud of Judiasm, I'm involved in Judaism. I don't want my children to feel [that] to be an enthusiastic citizen of their cute, adoreble town, they have to nod their heads to Christianity."

    La Jolla resident Terry Inman said she was OK with either name for the parade.

    "I think that's a really small, insignificant thing to be concerned with,"  Inman said. "I think there are much bigger things to be confcerned with. It's a holiday parade. It's a Christmas parade. I don't care if they call it a Hanukah parade. It doesn't matter as long as you have the spirit of giving and sharing."

    The president of the La Jolla Town Council said that the parade is one part of the holiday festival, adding that many different religions are part of the parade.
        
    That's good, said Hertz -- then name it accordingly.
     
    The town council officials, though, said that if Hertz wants a change, she should join the town council and open it up to discussion.

    It's not the first time the issue was raised: In 2005, there reportedly was a motion to remove the word Christmas, but the move was voted down.

    Let us know what you think. Comment below, send us your thoughts via Twitter @nbcsandiego or add your comment to our Facebook page.