The End of the Rainbow

It always seems that large companies wait until just before Christmas to announce plant closures and layoffs. Perhaps it’s more to coincide with the calendar year than any desire to make a really exciting Christmas for employees, but it always seems a cruel move to have employees trudge out, lunchbox in hand, for the last time amid snowflakes, Christmas lights, and waiting children.

The closure of the Dartmouth Moirs plant is just one more on a list that has become longer and longer over the last few decades. The “Pot of Gold” might be at the end of the rainbow, but it seems having the rainbow end in Mexico works better with the bottom line than having it end in Dartmouth. The closure of an almost 200 year old company follows a typical trend: started as a family business by a Moir ancestor in 1815; Pot of Gold, their best known product, is developed in 1928; it’s managed by several generations of Moirs; the company suffers in the 60’s and is taken over by a group of Nova Scotia businessmen who get an influx of funds and try to make a go of it; it’s bought out by Nabisco (American) in 1967; a new factory is built in Dartmouth in 1975; it’s bought out by Hershey Chocolate in 1987, and finally it’s closed with little warning in late 2007 in favor of moving the factory to Mexico. Continue reading

Struggling with the Tradition

So…… Merry Christmas! And “Happy Holidays” too, to cover those days around Christmas, such as New Years.

I’m quite certain my blog doesn’t travel far enough to get me criticized, ridiculed, or arrested for the use of the “Christmas” word.

I do exaggerate, but as most of you know, not too much. It’s getting more annoying, if not outright worrisome how Christ is being taken out of ….. out of whatever we can politically correctly call this holiday.

The attempts of governments of every level to come up with some inoffensive terminology for what has always been a Christian celebration would be hilarious, if it wasn’t at times threatening to those working in schools and government institutions. Continue reading

The Season of “Giving”

I’m troubled by Christmas. Have been for some time.

Christmas should be a high point in the year for Christian people. Although the date is likely all wrong, and the sequence of events like the arrival of the Magi all wrong, it is supposed to be a celebration of the birth of Jesus, the Messiah, 2000 years ago (2000 is close enough, because we apparently have the accuracy of that wrong as well).

I wondered how the whole thing got started… did the early church celebrate an anniversary of the birth of Christ, or was it started somewhere in the Middle Ages? My trusty Google soon told me that a celebration in December dated back long before the birth of Christ, as once pagan traditions that still linger on– such as the Yule Log, use of trees, and giving of gifts. Late December is the darkest time of the year, and a festival was just the thing to break up that somber cold. About a hundred years after Christ, these practices were cleaned up by converting the celebration to one remembering the birth of Christ, but obviously some of the traditions stuck and keep on today. Continue reading