Say no to early Christmas

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There are those who have accused me of being a Christmas Scrooge. This is an unfair label in my opinion; however, some may change their view by the end of these rantings. But here goes nothing, my argument for celebrating the holiday when we should.

I will state here and anywhere else that I Iove Christmas, in its own time. I love the lights, sounds, the young smiles and, most importantly, the real reason we celebrate the holiday. Once I’ve had that last piece of pumpkin pie, and dawn breaks on Black Friday, I can fa la la with the best of them.

Until then, I’m what might be called a reluctant reveler.

I don’t love the commercialization and early observations we now seem to see earlier and earlier every year. I don’t particularly love nonstop Christmas music in the month of November. I would honestly like to see celebrations of Christmas put more emphasis on the first six letters of the word. I’m saddened that a certain percentage of people in our world who can’t recite the story of the first Christmas Day.

I have long protested the appearance of Christmas before most of our Thanksgiving turkeys are even thawed. I have an ongoing and half century long protest going making a plea to give the Thanksgiving turkey and the meal around him the respect they deserve.

I would not have been anywhere near downtown in the capital city for a Christmas parade five days before Thanksgiving if not for the pleas of a 5-year-old nephew and his sister. They are too young to understand the inappropriate placement of the Christmas celebration.

Their smiles, laughs and shouts of glee made my sacrifice well worth the effort. For my family, I temporarily put my useless campaign on halt, but I won’t be quieted on the issue.

Living in North Carolina for nearly 53 years, mostly in the Raleigh area, I know why the parade is when it is. It’s because of tradition. North Carolinians like to do things as they always have. Failing to observe the Christmas parade the same date as our grandparents is just not natural in these parts.

Pre-Christmas celebrations go way beyond Christmas parades.

Most of us realize this whole thing is about the almighty dollar. Businesses replace Halloween candy with holiday bows, ribbons and bargain prices hoping to attract buyers. In theory, the longer Christmas items are on the shelf the more likely they are to bring in dollars. Seems like a reasonable enough marketing strategy to me.

A friend posted on social media this weekend eventually we will celebrate Christmas in the summer. Some already do, but I won’t even touch my opinion of Christmas in July celebrations. We are slowly drifting towards an all-year celebration.

Reducing the number of days in Christmas season, there I said it, will make the celebrations we do have more intense. The season of joy will become even more joyous. I am not foolish enough to believe any of this will change, but until that happens, I’ll smile my way through November waiting for the celebrations of Christmas.

For the next two days, I will say “Happy Thanksgiving,” then I’ll be glad to wish you a “Merry Christmas.”

Tom Woerner is a former reporter with The Daily Record and former editor of the Harnett County News. Reach him at woernertmw@yahoo.com.

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