Fredericton — Popular Fredericton radio station 105.3 The Fox has removed the word “Christmas” from its entire playlist for the upcoming holiday season. In certain cases though, they have re-recorded some popular songs and replaced the word with more acceptable terms. The decision comes just as businesses begin to prepare for the holidays while trying to avoid any potential backlash from sensitive consumers over the use of the Christian holiday’s name.
“We’re in a world where no one wants to be offended,” said Larry Howard, a Fox representative. “People are very sensitive about which words they can use nowadays, and which words simply aren’t appropriate. ‘Christmas’ is one of those words that people just aren’t comfortable with. I mean to say they love Christmas, they just don’t like the word. Most people love the decorations, the presents, and the trees and wreaths and stuff, just not the meaning behind the whole thing.”
Howard shared some of the “new” holiday songs with The Manatee. The list was filled with recognizable titles with slight changes to their names. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Evening,” “Rockin’ Around the Coniferous Tree,” “All I Want For This Day is You,” “Have a Holly Jolly Boxing Day,” “I’m Dreaming of a White Person,” “The 12 Days of the Holiday Season,” “Do They Know it’s December?,” “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Winter,” and “Please Come Home for Dinner,” to name a few.
Strangely enough, Adam Sandler’s popular holiday song “The Chanukah Song” has remained unchanged. “I’ve never received any complaints over any of our Chanukah songs, only the Christmas ones,” explained Howard. “In fact, I think those are the only types of songs I’ve ever had complaints about. We play all kinds of songs that mention drugs or sex or violence and things, but people really only have a problem with the ones about Christmas.”
Deborah Marshall, an avid Foxrocks listener, was thrilled with the decision. “I’m so happy that I won’t have to listen to people push their beliefs on to me. I love Christmas, but I’m not really into the whole religion thing, so I think I should be able to celebrate my Christmas any way I want to. Isn’t that what Christmas is really all about anyway? Just being happy and enjoying people and stuff?”
The debate about what’s appropriate to say at Christmas always heats up as the cold weather sets in on New Brunswick. It will be interesting to see whether other radio stations follow The Fox’s lead as we enter the season formally known as Christmas.