I have enjoyed reading columns by Bill Nemitz for many years. I find him to be well-informed, clever and entertaining. I learn something or I’m amused by reading his work.

I read his article about the Christmas tree in Monument Square and found it amusing; a tongue-in-check discussion of people who can’t say the word Christmas. Not for a moment did I think he was of that state of mind.

Therefore, I was amazed on Thanksgiving to find a letter to the editor accusing Nemitz of being a “bah humbug” type who cannot call a Christmas tree a Christmas tree.

I still believe he was poking fun at those who refuse to recognize what the decorated fir means to the Christians of the country. Some people are just too sensitive. Happy holidays!

Nancy Willard

Is anyone else as ticked off about the “politically correct” treatment of Christmas as I am? It starts with the lighted tree in the city/town square.

The time was when we called it a Christmas tree. Now it’s a “holiday tree,” a “winter tree” etc., because someone might be offended if we call it a Christmas tree.

The practice continues in the department stores where the clerks wish you “happy holidays” as they hand you the Christmas present you just purchased.

The stores started the Christmas decoration displays around Labor Day, or so it seems, and they can’t wish you a merry Christmas? Remember the school Christmas parties we enjoyed as children? What happened to them?

How did we get to the point where it is not acceptable to wish someone a merry Christmas?

I think we’re all wound too tight. In an effort to not “offend” someone, we are taking much of the joy out of Christmas.

In the process, many of our elected leaders look silly and inept as they deal with the Christmas issue.

I have a suggestion. If they find the Christmas issue too complex to handle, put it to a vote.

Let the community vote by ballot or by phone to determine if their community favors calling their displays Christmas or holiday decorations.

In the meantime, I plan to contact the local department stores to determine if their policy prohibits employees from extending a Christmas greeting. I will patronize the “Christmas greeting” stores.

I don’t find it offensive if non-Christians celebrate their holidays with displays and greetings. And I believe that the majority of non-Christians is not offended by Christmas celebrations. Just don’t take Christmas away from me.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Lou Quenneville

I’m weighing in on the Bill Nemitz column, “Pine tree in Monument Square that remains nameless,” and in doing so hope to demonstrate the nonsense of it all, as I believe Bill Nemitz succeeded in doing, albeit with tongue firmly planted in cheek.

My initial reaction to this manufactured controversy, i.e. do we dare refer to it as a “Christmas tree,” was one of disbelief and disgust — disbelief it is an issue at all, and disgust with the public’s fear of defending one of our most important traditions.

If we are forbidden by some vague segment of the population to commemorate a joyous occasion by openly displaying a symbolic Christmas tree, then we are succumbing to fear and, as we all know, fear disables the strongest of us, rendering us helpless.

Allowing this kind of intimidation makes cowards of us and paves the way for other symbols of treasured beliefs to be put in jeopardy , e.g. Buddha: “ancient smiling man,” menorah: “old religious relic,” etc. I know we don’t want that to happen!

Therefore, let’s prevent anything as inane as this Christmas tree issue from happening by nipping it in the bud. Take a firm stand for our proud tree by bestowing its proper name and calling it a Christmas tree.

Furthermore, we can show our American braveness by inviting various school choral groups to sing Christmas carols around the brightly lit Christmas tree, thereby openly acknowledging the occasion and, I dare say, invigorating local business?

Portland is a world-class city, known for its rich history, proud ancestry and most of all, its progressive thinking. Let’s not let Portland or the Christmas tree down by cowering!

Frank E. Reilly

You’ve got to be kidding me: “the tree that marks the start of the holiday season”? Is this Portland, Ore., or Portland, Maine?

It’s a Christmas tree, nothing more, nothing less. I can’t believe how convoluted political correctness has gotten. And just in case you forgot what political correctness is, let me remind you.

Political correctness (or PC for short) means using words or behavior that will not offend any groups of people. OK, so the powers that be in Portland want to appease the minority all the while kicking sand in the faces of peaceful folks who just want to celebrate the holiday season with a traditional Christmas tree.

They’ve offended me, but does that count? Heck, no! Well, so be it. I will fight back the only way they might understand. I’m taking my business elsewhere — and, as we did last year, we’ll be buying American-made products only.

As for Portland (still not sure which state it belongs in), no more consumer spending in that little diverse, holier-than-thou town. Oh, and by the way, merry Christmas and happy New Year!

Kenny Gates

Immigrants built America, and will continue the work 

My parents were immigrants (foreigners). Before them, other immigrants (foreigners) came to America.

Here they found opportunity. Opportunity to work, to build, to raise their families. In doing so, they helped build this country into a nation unparalleled in the history of the world.

They were of different nationalities, religions, colors, beliefs and values. Yet together they learned; learned to work, live and build together this great country.

Since my generation was born here, my children’s generation was born here, too. And while their children are being born to fill their generation, immigrants are once more flooding our shores.

The reasons are varied, but as in the past, the world situation dictates many of their moves. It is difficult to believe how some people, our native generations, do not welcome them — in fact, they discriminate against them.

They seem to have forgotten their hard-won immigrant heritage that built this country and gave them their opportunities. In writing this, I wish to awaken them, to bring to their attention the land they inherited. The freedom now taken for granted was given to them by past generations, and the wave of incoming immigrants (foreigners) now flowing into our country will help make it a greater nation now then it already is.

Welcome them, embrace them. Only in America is the whole world living, working and building together.

Peter Hassapelis

Front-page Santa photo classic Christmas image 

Although Santa is already in his easy chair at the Maine Mall instead of his workshop up at the North Pole, the image by Shawn Patrick Ouellette on the front page Nov. 16 of Santa with two children on his lap was just outstanding on so many levels.

Once again I am reminded that The Portland Press Herald is fortunate to have a group of so many excellent photographers on its staff.

On a sadder note, the juxtaposition of the Santa image and the article about the tragic death of the 5-year-old in Pownal was heartbreaking.

Elizabeth Kolodin
Pemaquid Harbor