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The Viking Scroll

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With the cover depicting a stoic, bearded, helmeted viking, the campus newspaper then known as the Viking Scroll could be found throughout campus from 1939 until 1973.

Replacing the previous school newspaper the Viking Flash, this iteration of the paper was the second longest lasting name for the newspaper. Embracing the theme presented from the school mascot’s Viking moniker, the Viking Scroll was full of references to Norse mythology and culture, such as Valkyries, Odin and Asgard. One such case was an article announcing a new refreshment booth on campus that would be named Valhalla in honor of the Norse belief of the great banquet hall.

A collaborative effort, the Viking Scroll typically had a 20 member staff working to produce bi-weekly content.

The Viking Scroll was extremely campus oriented and focused, something the new electronic platform of the Scroll plans to return to, and regularly detailed campus events as well as student body elections.

Articles regularly detailed intercollegiate and intramural sporting events, particularly basketball and football. Stories about the latest updates and events among the schools fraternities and sororities (Yes those existed back then) were also commonly found in the newspaper. Older versions of the Viking Scroll featured letters from BYU-Idaho students serving in the military during World War II giving updates of the war to the friends and family back home. During the Cold War students created a “Civil Defense League” which regularly updated the newspaper with tips and advice on how to prepare and what to do if nuclear war were to happen.

Whether it was updates on the athletic events or more serious matters like war and nuclear attacks the Viking Scroll brought campus news to Ricks students for more than three decades.

Included in this article will be a story from the December 20, 1960, edition of the Viking Scroll written by Louise Shirts. This article will compare views from 1960 and the present day about the same issue.

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Where is “Christmas” (1960)

Christmas Tree Lane, 1989

Is Christmas really becoming an Xmas? Are we letting the “X’s”, Santa Claus, fancy advertising, tinsel and multi-colored lights, take precedence over “Christ” who should be the true spirit of Christmas.

Have you noticed that during the past few years even before we celebrate Thanksgiving the streets are bedecked with garlands and strings of lights and giant Santas are slyly beckoning from store windows to urge us to “avoid the rush and get our Christmas shopping done early”?

Are the few hours we spend in church hearing of the birth and mission of our Savior able to overcome the more than a month of indoctrination by the “X” factor of our Christmas celebration?

Let’s stop right now and take a look at our Christmas plans for this year and see if we are going to celebrate Christmas or Xmas.

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Is there a war on Christmas? (2018)

In recent years the “war on Christmas” has become a growing concern among certain Christian groups and voices. Much like the concern in 1960 with Xmas replacing Christmas, a Pew Research study reports that Americans have raised concerns that the phrase “happy holidays” is attempting to erase the more Christian themed phrase “merry Christmas.”

President Donald Trump weighed in on this issue during his campaign and presidency, saying in a tweet, “Other people can have their holidays, but Christmas is Christmas. I want to see ‘Merry Christmas.’ Remember the expression ‘Merry Christmas’? You don’t see it.”

Maya Mottinger, a freshman studying nursing, said that she thinks Jesus Christ has become less of a focus during Christmas, and it has become too commercialized.

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“A lot of people don’t really believe in Christ and get more caught up in the decorations,” Mottinger said.

Mottinger said taking time to read the story of Jesus’ birth can help people bring the focus back on Christ and that saying happy holidays isn’t a bad thing, but being able to say Merry Christmas is an important aspect of the holiday.

“If you get offended by the word Christmas, then what’s next?” Mottinger said. “Saying ‘happy holidays’ is fine, but if you get offended by saying Merry Christmas then I think that is taking it too far.”

Rebecca Hunt, a junior studying sociology, said the consumer culture surrounding Christmas is the biggest threat to erasing Jesus Christ from the holiday rather than the “happy holiday” greeting.

“I don’t think that phrases like ‘happy holidays’ threaten to take Christ out of Christmas,” Hunt said. “There are other so many other religious holidays like Hanukkah and Kwanzaa throughout the holiday season, and I believe that wishing those members happiness during their respective holiday is a great way to show Christlike love to everyone throughout the Christmas season.”

Whether or not there is actually a war on Christmas, student opinion from 1960 to 2018, along with studies say that consumerism has at least in some respects overshadowed the religious aspect of the holiday.

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