With as little effort as Branson’s leadership, including elected, appointed, businesses and organizations within the community are putting into promoting America’s traditional Christmas is it inappropriate to suggest that it would be more honest and less deceitful to change the name of “Ozark Mountain Christmas” to “Ozark Mountain Holiday?” Were it not for most of Branson’s shows; Silver Dollar City; the Adoration Parade, which was a Branson tradition well before Ozark Mountain Christmas came into being and a few of its other attractions and businesses actual promoting and celebrating “Christmas,” Ozark Mountain Christmas would be nothing, but the same generic politically correct “Holiday” people can get anywhere else.
If promoting “Christmas” were a crime, would there be enough evidence to convict Branson? May an Ole Seagull suggest, based on his own personal observations this week, that the answer would be, “No.” In a town celebrating and making millions off of an event marketed as “Ozark Mountain Christmas,” not only are those words conspicuously absent from public sight, but the very word “Christmas” as wel1.
But Seagull, how can that be. Didn’t our community’s business leaders, the Branson Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce’s (BLACC) Board of Directors, adopt a resolution over six years ago establishing, “A policy of trying to keep ‘Christmas’ in ‘Christmas’ by, at a minimum, encouraging the use of the term ‘Merry Christmas’ in lieu of ‘Happy Holidays’ in connection with the Chamber’s involvement with “Ozark Mountain Christmas” and in other situations where it is the intent of the Chamber to specifically express ‘Christmas’ wishes or greetings to those celebrating the holiday of ‘Christmas?’” “That they did, but in an Ole Seagull’s opinion, the decision, from its very inception, with only a nine to seven vote passing it, lacked “leadership integrity.”
In her book “Backbone,” about the “history, traditions and leadership lessons of Marine Corps NCO’s,” author Julia Dye said, “Leaders who demonstrate integrity create an environment of common values that bind people together.” The “integrity” to which she refers is that relating to “something that is whole or intact” having “internal consistency.” A nine to seven vote is not the type of internal consistency that indicates the heart or leadership for anything to change.
An Ole Seagull would ask, “What definitive actions have been taken to implement the board’s decision since it was approved?” Is there enough evidence of the Chamber’s leadership and action to convict it “of trying to keep ‘Christmas’ in ‘Christmas’ by, at a minimum, encouraging the use of the term ‘Merry Christmas’ in lieu of ‘Happy Holidays’ in connection with the Chamber’s involvement with “Ozark Mountain Christmas….?”
On a visit to the Branson Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and CVB Welcome Center today the Ole Seagull did not see one prominent display either wishing people a “Merry Christmas” or welcoming them to “Ozark Mountain Christmas” and the use of the word “prominent” is generous. “But Seagull, doesn’t the display of a “giant snowman” and the “Branson B” count for something?” “Sure it does, just not anything that shows any leadership regarding the implementation of their Christmas Resolution of over six years ago.
Maybe it’s a good time, from the Chamber, to city hall and every business in Branson to ask and answer the question individually, “Is there enough evidence to convict us of promoting ‘Christmas?'” If the answer, in total, is “No,” in any significant way, then why not do the honorable thing and take the word “Christmas” out of “Ozark Mountain Christmas” and call it “Ozark Mountain Winter Wonderland” or “Ozark Mountain Holidays?”
“Come now Seagull, from a marketing perspective that might not be the best thing.” “True, but it might be the most honest thing.”
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