Stop rushing Christmas

Rick Ryckeley's picture

Normally by this time of the year, I’ve exhausted all the topics that cause me to jump up on my soapbox and pontificate. I can relax, pen a few lighthearted articles, and slide right on into the New Year. But with only four more columns ‘til 2012, I find I must pull out my soapbox and stand upon it one last time. There’s still more pontificating that needs to be done and, after all, it is my soapbox.

So what has inspired a trip to the basement to retrieve and dust off the box once again? In a word: Christmas. Now before you start flooding the editor with letters again, Christmas is my favorite time of the year for all the obvious reasons. And it’s the only time of the year that a candy cane up the nose of your brother is considered funny. Try it and you’ll see. Trust me, any other time of the year he’s walking around like that it’s just weird.

I thought nothing could mar my memories of bells at church services, the children’s choir, and waking up to see what Santa had left under the tree. But they have done a rather good job.

Who are “they,” you might ask? They would be those folks who thought it to be a good idea this year to start decking the halls of their stores and selling Christmas items even before Halloween! Well, that’s really got my goat. Now there’s an old guy saying for ya.

The store owners aren’t the only ones who have caused this super early shopping spree. I guess those politicians are right after all: it is a media conspiracy.

What’s my proof, you might ask? When the sales on Black Friday now start two weeks before Thanksgiving and get more media and print coverage than the actual day of Thanksgiving. Dear reader, I’d say we have ourselves a little problem.

All is not lost, though. It just so happens yours truly is really good at coming up with answers to problems. Just ask Mr. Myers, my 10th grade math teacher at Briarwood High, home of the Mighty Buccaneers. He’d say I was really good at answering problems. I never showed my work, the answers weren’t always right, but I was really good at coming up with an answer.

The solution is really simple. Everyone needs do the same thing. Stop Rushing Christmas!

It’s a special time of year that combines all the joy, love, and goodness in the world, wraps it all up in childhood memories, then delivers it on Christmas morning on the faces of children.

It would be hard to remember Christmas as a child and not have a warm feeling run through you as a smile unconsciously spreads across your face. Unless, of course, all you got was a lump of coal instead of presents – like I’m sure Down The Street Bully Brad did every year.

Have no fear; the holiday season can still be saved.

If those people in Washington really want to pass a new law, howsabout this one: There shall be no Christmas television ads, no Christmas items allowed to be sold in stores, and above all else, no lights strung inside or out until the day after Thanksgiving.

With the problem now solved, the season now saved, and this column now finished, I’ve stepped down from my soapbox. Once again it’s stored in the basement until next year. As I climb back up the flight of steps, I realize I may have offended some store owners out there just trying to survive in these hard economic times.

The store displays this year are indeed dazzling, the holiday music is wonderful, and the movies are heartfelt, but just start the Christmas season the day after Thanksgiving. Rushing Christmas only dilutes this special time of the year.

Besides, there’s something more important about Christmas than the all-mighty dollar. And that’s the Almighty.

[Rick Ryckeley, who lives in Senoia, has been a firefighter for more than two decades and a columnist for The Citizen since 2001. His email is saferick@bellsouth.net.]

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