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Holiday Thoughts

By Tom Fakehany

The summer tourists have left the beaches and only an occasional bather can be seen. The beach volleyball courts are now empty as the sand has been bulldozed into protective mounds, and the storms of winter will soon be arriving. The days can be gray and wet, night is creeping in earlier and earlier, and the evenings are cooler and cooler.

I have shaken the mothballs from a coat or two and this week will be wintering my volleyball official's uniform. Thanksgiving is just now a thought: of where to dine, or, if at home, whom to invite now that the kids are grown and moved away.

My mailbox is crammed with catalogues selling Christmas toys, gifts, gifts. I could toss the glossy temptations in the recycling bin without a look. But I don't. Instead, I slowly leaf through them, despite the highway sign that says buy local.

The real truth of the matter is that I have grown to despise Christmas. It upsets me that it intrudes this early. The Christmas lights are already starting to go up having been purchased from the pre-Christmas sell at the local Sav-On. I don't think, "My, my, aren't the lights beautiful." I think, "It's not even Thanksgiving; what are the goshdarn lights doing up?"

Instead of dwelling on Thanksgiving gratitude, I begin to dwell on approaching Christmas debt. I don't count blessings; I count credit-card limits. I want peace of mind back. I want the old Thanksgiving back. I'd like an orange and brown Thanksgiving with family, not one tinted with red and green and Santa. I'd like a tradition-laden, thanks-filled Thanksgiving, not one whose main purpose has become forerunner of the biggest sales day before Christmas.

With laws governing protection of dolphins and butterflies, encourage the City Council to do something important regarding the holidays, pass a new ordinance. Let Christmas come when it's actually Christmas and not a minute before.

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