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Letters: Christmas Cards

MELISSA BLOCK, host:

Time now for your emails. We've been flooded with responses to our commentary on Christmas cards from Jesuit priest James Martin.

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

Father Martin is campaigning for an end to what he calls family cards, you know, the holiday card featuring a photo of your family, perhaps on a beach, perhaps with the family dog. He laments the departure from more pious images.

(Soundbite of NPR interview)

Reverend JAMES MARTIN (Jesuit Priest): Even devout Christians have been replacing Jesus, Mary, and Joseph with themselves. Doesn't it strike you as weird to set aside the Holy Family in favor of your family? Does a photo of Cabo San Lucas trump the story told by the original San Lucas? Is Christmas really about you?

BLOCK: Here's one response. Perhaps it is my Jesuit undergraduate education, but Father Martin has at least one convert to his campaign. That's Rob Merzenski(ph) of Memphis. He continues, like Father Martin, I do not understand the preoccupation of sending family photos as Christmas cards. Often, as I open a card, my first response is who are these people and why do I care what they look like? At least if I received a Christmas card with a picture of the Holy Family, I would know who they are. Thanks, Father, for your comments.

SIEGEL: Well, plenty of others among you had less charitable words for Father Martin. Rachel Amdur(ph) of Havertown, Pennsylvania, writes, Jesus may be your reason for the season, but it is absurd to think that everyone agrees with you. She adds, personally I love getting those holiday photo cards.

BLOCK: Finally, Moira Shapiro(ph) of Arlington, Virginia, offers this. I am a 10-year-old Jewish girl. I like holiday cards when they work for everyone, not just Christians. She goes on. This is a good time to catch up with family and friends, not with religions. When we get a card that's more about Christ than the family who sent it, we don't connect with it and wish instead it included information about the friends. I love the winter holidays when they are for everyone.

SIEGEL: Well, chag sameach, Moira. Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas to all. And thanks for your comments.

BLOCK: You can write to us at npr.org. Click on "Contact Us" at the top of the page. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

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