Mary and Joseph might have had a tough time finding shelter in Bethlehem, but it looks like they'll be welcome in downtown El Paso.

After calling the Nativity scene that used to be a part of the holiday decorations at San Jacinto Plaza not modern, bright, or festive enough to be a part of the new sleeker, all-white Celebration of Lights this year, the City of El Paso says they will install a Nativity scene at San Jacinto Plaza this weekend.

There has been a Nativity scene at San Jacinto square for years, and it was part of the Christmas decorations at Cleveland Square during the years when the plaza was being renovated. Unfortunately, the Nativity did not make the cut for this year's display.

Last week, Dionne Mack of the Quality of Life Department said "We wanted something very modern that actually fit the new design and patterns." Clearly, the Holy Family didn't fit in with that new design scheme. On Monday, the City had a change of heart.

Mack said a Nativity scene will be installed and will be visible from North Mesa. El Paso Bishop Mark Seitz said the City told him that they "never really made the decision not to get a Nativity scene, and they are working to get a new one and it will be up soon."

Thank you, City of El Paso. I don't want other religions to feel excluded, but a Nativity scene has always been a part of the San Jacinto display. Should we include other religious symbols? Yes! Let's get a Menorah to observe Hanukkah, and a Kinara to celebrate Kwanzaa.

This is a holiday season with many religious observances. Let's stop pretending that it is a "winter holiday". It's not. It's the time of year that Christians observe the birth of Christ, the African American community observes the Nguzo Saba of Kwanzaa, and Jews commemorate the rededication of the Holy Temple.

We don't have a problem with each other's religious observances at other times of the year, why would we now? No one should be excluded, and if that means spending some taxpayer money on these other symbols, let's do it!

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukka, and Happy Kwanzaa to everyone!

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