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Grab Christmas spirit before 2009 slips in

POSTED: December 28, 2008 5:00 a.m.

The cartoonist was right: the one who showed Santa’s sleigh overtaking and de-feathering the Thanksgiving turkey.

  

I warned you it was happening; the first two weeks of December crowded with Christmas activities.

  

If you didn’t make your card and gift list, pull out some Christmas decorations, and resurrect that seasonal wardrobe, you were caught short. I am an “organizational person.” That is, I belong to groups, and my organizations seem to schedule meetings, business and social, near the first of the month.

  

Thus, it is that by the time this paper is delivered, I will probably have been to 12 Christmas functions — all including food. 

  

Everyone plans social occasions around eating and drinking, obviously because that’s something even people who have little else in common can share and enjoy.

  

Those functions followed a week of family togetherness down at Cape San Blas’s beautiful beach, a week that also included several special meals.

  

In addition to the traditional Thanksgiving feast, we celebrated a brother’s 50th wedding anniversary. There were almost 50 members of the extended family scattered in several houses in our area of St. Joseph Peninsula, and some of those houses hosted individual dinner get-togethers — from seafood (yes, including raw oysters) to Italian specialties. 

  

There’s no question: I need to exercise.

  

And December is not half-finished. After the initial flurry, however, my personal schedule slows down to concentrate more exclusively on immediate family and church-related activities.

  

That’s a good thing.

  

Although we Christians decry the commercialization of Christmas, we perpetuate it — and that, too, may be a good thing.

  

After all, at what other time is such a focus on a birthday?

  

Even with Santa in the foreground, it is Christmas that we celebrate, and “The Holidays” were originally Holy days. 

  

I have often insisted that without the involvement of the secular economic world, Christmas and Easter might have slipped into the obscurity of some other religious holidays.

  

As a crude analogy, think of the movie “Miracle of 34th Street.” 

  

Remember that the reality of Santa Claus was legally proven by the fact that the U.S. Post Office received (and dispensed to somewhere) mail addressed to that personage.

  

The prevalence of such mail served to justify the existence of the addressee. So one might declare that all the hoop-la about Christmas should be evidence of a Christ-child’s presence.

  

Of course, those who know the Christ can do with less hoop-la as evidence, but why not deck the halls, anyway?

  

So, let me wish all of you a very Merry Christmas before the Happy New Year bells and whistles drown it out.

  Helen Taylor’s column appears periodically in the Dawson Community News.

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