Guest Columnists :
'White Guilt' and Affirmative Action - Suzanne Fields, TownHall.com
Of Pork and Patronage - Katherine Mangu-Ward, The Weekly Standard
The Lighter Side of Spam - Tim Ward, "The Online Jester"
Disastrous Utopia - Thomas Sowell, TownHall.com
What is the Deal?
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December 8, 2002
What is the deal with the Holiday Season?
By Jan A. Larson
The holiday season is upon us. I might have used the term “Christmas season” but, of course, in America today, using such an inflammatory term might offend the sensibilities of those that choose not to celebrate Christmas for whatever reason. This is the time of year when sensibilities should definitely not be offended thus, “holiday season.” My company is having a “holiday party” and our company holiday schedule refers to the days off that we are granted at this time of year, the “winter holidays.” Every year, it seems, there is another story in the news of some city, town, village or municipality that gets hit with a lawsuit over crossing the line when it comes to Christmas.
Christmas isn’t what it used to be. It has become so commercialized and, if the trend continues, the Christmas sales will soon be starting on the Fourth of July rather than what used to be the traditional opening on Thanksgiving weekend. Many retailers’ fortunes are heavily dependent on holiday season sales. Without the massive advertising campaigns and extended selling seasons, many would not turn a profit. No wonder Americans are “encouraged” to buy, buy, buy!
I wonder just how many people really look forward to and truly enjoy the holidays? Just about everyone will tell you that they eat too much. They spend too much and those credit card bills always come due in January. Children enjoy the holidays because they don’t have to do the shopping, cooking, cleaning, decorating or pay the bills. Many adults, however, are burdened with having to buy gifts for people that seemingly have everything or children that can never have enough. Is a gift really worth giving or receiving if it is something that is given out of habit or obligation? Sure it can be fun to get together with family and/or friends at the holidays but why wait until the holidays to see them? Why wait until the holidays to give someone a gift?
The holidays can be stressful and taxing, but in the big picture, there is no reason to have a holiday season if there isn’t time to reflect on just why we have them in the first place. No matter if you choose to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or something else entirely, it is important to stop and smell the cookies and make an effort to enjoy the season. After all, it won’t be the holiday season for another whole year, or at least until the Fourth of July.
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