Small-Town Small-Mindedness

While St. Charles, MO, may not technically be a small town, this is an image they like to project, especially when it comes to their yearly, old-fashioned Christmas Traditions festival. The small-mindedness their mayor and city council have shown in regards to the “Sugar Plum Fairy incident” certainly do provide evidence that they are smaller (at least in brain power) than people think.

First of all, the code of conduct is ridiculous. “Christmas characters don’t know naughty words?!?” Everyone knows naughty words. Yes, common sense tells us that there is a time and a place to use them, (if we must–I know I do occasionally), but sometimes, in a moment of frustration, one slips out despite our best intentions. And Laura Coppinger wasn’t even in character when she was at the drug-testing facility, she was just a prospective employee.

Second of all, people who think she’s somehow setting a bad example for children, or reflecting poorly on the city of St. Charles or the Christmas Traditions festival are crazy enough that I think they should be going in for a drug test! They do realize, I assume, that no one would have known that any “naughty words” had been used if they hadn’t made such a big deal out of it? My children certainly wouldn’t have known a profanity had been uttered, and neither would I, (not that I particularly care). But the city had to blow the whole situation out of proportion and make it into something news-worthy, just drawing attention to a momentary lapse in judgement, (on the part of Laura Coppinger), and their own asininity. USA Today even picked up the story–way to make your town look like a bunch of fools!

I had hoped that cooler heads would prevail; that the city would realize that they could accept the actress’s apology, re-hire her, and move on. Apparently, however, they are unable to show the same grace and humility she has shown throughout this ordeal, and instead only defended their dubious decision. While Laura has truly embodied the traits of the Sugar Plum Fairy, the city of St. Charles seems to only take its lessons on Christmas spirit and graciousness from Ebenezer Scrooge! While our family will still support the merchants and the Christmas Traditions festival this year, the experience just won’t be the same for any of us.

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