So This Is Christmas
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It may be too late for this year, but do you think that for next year, if we all work together, we can put the magic back in Christmas and Santa can bring some of that joy and cheer everyone’s always singing about?

When I was a kid, Christmas was a special occasion. My mother wouldn’t let us put the Christmas tree up until one week before Christmas; otherwise, she’d get tired of looking at it. (And it came down right after, yessirree.) It was such a big deal to set up the tree and get it all decorated, and then run outside and stand in the street, looking up at the second-story window to see what the tree looked like.

“A Charlie Brown Christmas” came on the television right around the time we put up the tree, not following “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” in August, like it does now. We so looked forward to Charlie Brown, Rudolph and Frosty. It was part of the magic of the season. Now they’re on DVD and you can watch them all year round. Where’s the magic in that?

Hey, I’m just as merry as the next person, but it confuses me when the stores gear up for the holidays right after the Fourth of July to get us in the spirit (read: put the pressure on us), and the radio stations play non-stop Christmas music starting the day after Halloween (which, at least for me, takes the novelty out of the season), but then they play the Christmas guilt songs, you know, like “Christmas in Sarajevo” and “Do They Know It’s Christmastime (in Africa),” just to keep us humble and to let us know we have no business enjoying the holiday season because the world is such a mess.

I don’t mean to be insensitive or anything, but I think it would be nice if we could really celebrate Christmas. I mean, I know there’s a war in Iraq, and I know there are children starving in Africa. But what about the rest of us? What about the people who work their butts off day-in and day-out to provide for their families? What about those of us who struggled hard to get an education, by whatever means necessary, so we could maybe have some joy and cheer in our lives, even if it is only once a year?

Do you think that maybe—just maybe—once a year we could all just lighten up?

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