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Mr. Grinch

I am a grinch, plain and simple. I just plain don’t like Christmas. But unlike my hairy green icon, my brain is not full of spiders, my smile is, indeed, termite free and my motives aren’t based on a deep seeded bitterness towards cheer of all kind; the seed of bitterness rests in the politics.

My malcontent of an otherwise benign season doesn’t stem from the holiday itself. I have no problem with the ideology. What I don’t like is what the season has become.

Let’s start with the most obvious, the decorations. You know what I’m talking about. I’ve seen more than a few houses with their lights up before the Thanksgiving turkey was even in the oven. I like Christmas lights, I really do, and I think there are lots of clever people out there who have helped turn the stringing of festive lights into an art form all it’s own, but I find it offsetting to see them a week and a half before December even starts. And then there is the one house that goes overkill. The kind of house that has so many lights up that you can see it through your eyelids half a block away or, worse still, has every square inch of the front yard covered in tacky Christmas paraphernalia.

The only thing worse than people putting up decorations to early is when stores do it. Given, I can understand why stores put up the decorations, despite the fact that they are the ones who destroyed Christmas. They put up these decorations and other advertisements so that, come the day after Thanksgiving, the consumer will be whipped up into a frenzy of holiday proportions and rush the nearest retail outlet for the many great deals offered by the store. After all, that’s what Christmas is all about, isn’t it? Buying gifts? People mob the stores, get in fights, and act like animals. If Christmas brings out this side of people, then there is something seriously wrong with a holiday that is supposed to be about loving your fellow man.

We’ve even messed up the children. Were I a man of initiative and gall, I would like to go into a room of young children, pre-school aged, sit them down one by one and have them identify two pictures, one of Jesus (arguably the reason the holiday was started in the first place) and a picture of Santa, and I just wonder which picture would have the most correct identifications. It’s not their fault that, to them, it’s all about the gifts. It’s ours.

Across the board, almost everyone who celebrates Christmas is guilty of forgetting what the holiday is supposed to be and celebrating what the holiday is. I know I’m guilty; I’ll be rending the paper off my gifts so fast that it will show up on the 2005 Christmas tape as a multi-colored blur.

So here’s what I’ll do, and I suggest you do to. Keep the one, ideologically uncorrupted parts of Christmas alive and donate to the Salvation Army, your church or someone who will actually go about helping your fellow man. It’s a small step towards the salvation of the holiday, but it really is the least we can do

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