A small, but determined, group of Blacktip Island residents is making a concerted effort to focus on Festivus celebrations this holiday season. (photo courtesy of 4marknelson)
A group of Blacktip Island residents Thursday took action against what they perceived as attacks on Festivus traditions on the small Caribbean island.
“Festivus provides an alternative to the commercialization and pressures of the Christmas season, and some Blacktippers have declared war on it,” resident Payne Hanover said. “They’re free to celebrate for religious reasons or commercial reasons or whatever, but we won’t let Festivus be relegated to second-class status.
“We’re taking a stand against the ‘what would Jesus buy’ aspect of the holidays,” Hanover said. “We’ll be displaying our bare poles, loud and proud, for everyone to see. Our response to any holiday greeting will be, ‘Happy Festivus.’”
Some island religious leaders decried the movement.
“Christmas is, by definition, religious,” the Rev. Pierre Grunt said. “This imagined assault on a manufactured holiday is just the latest round of the real war on Christmas. Payne and his cronies are stirring up trouble to ruin everyone else’s holidays. We won’t be browbeaten by some multi-culti sensitivity nonsense.
“It wouldn’t be charitable to tell Payne what he can do with his Festivus pole, but we’ll have plenty of carolers to drown out his nonsense,” Grunt said. “We’ll make sure everyone keeps Jesus front and center, if it’s the last thing we do. If Payne wants a war, we’ll give him one!”
Other residents downplayed the dispute.
“Both sides need to shut up, have some eggnog and enjoy the pretty lights,” Olive Beaugregory said. “Celebrate your choice of holidays any way you want. Or not. But don’t harsh the season when everybody else is having a good time.
“I’m wishing people happy Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, and Bodhi Day without batting an eye,” Beaugregory said. “I’m even wishing the Pagans a happy Yuletide. Or Solstice. Whichever one they prefer these days.”
The island’s Ecumenical Council urged forbearance during the holidays.
“Blacktip’s a diverse community, and there’s room for every viewpoint,” BIEC president, former reverend Jerrod Ephesians said. “The goal’s to have peace and goodwill on the island. However briefly. Blacktip’s always been an accommodating community. Antonio Fletcher’s been celebrating Hogswatch on the 24th for years, and no one’s complained.”
Hanover remained steadfast.
“We’re foregrounding the non-religious aspects that make this time of year so dear to our hearts,” he said. “We’ll air our grievances. We’ll perform feats of strength. And we’ll by-God celebrate Festivus miracles. Why, just yesterday I found my scooter keys!”