SURRATT: Let’s bring back the reason for the holidays

Published 4:00 am Friday, November 5, 2021

Time has flown by.

It just seemed like last week or so, summer was still with us and the warm weather was going to hang around, but that wasn’t to be. We’ve just left October, the 10th month of the “rolling year” to quote Marley’s ghost, and are now heading into November, which is marking its arrival with cool, soon cold, temperatures and rain.

The inevitable start of the cold fronts that bring rain and cold temps to the South have begun, which means my wife and I will be digging through the storage bins to pull out our warm clothes and replacing the soon-empty space in the bins with summer clothes.

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Actually, I don’t put away all of my summer clothes. Knowing that weather in the South can change, I always keep some short-sleeve shirts out and on hand just in case, and since some of the climatologists, those guys who study the atmosphere and the jet stream, predict we’ll have a La Nina-type winter that will be warmer than usual, I believe my keeping some summer duds out may be a good idea.

But the change of seasons means more than cold fronts and strange weather. As we enter the end of 2021, we get to enjoy two of the nation’s most revered holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas, and that means I’m going to have a tough time. You see, my birthday is in November; this year, it’s the day before Thanksgiving. I bring that up because we’re still about two weeks away from Thanksgiving and the stores are brimming with Christmas goodies — lights, trees, yard decorations and the like. Heck, they began putting the stuff up weeks before the first child knocked on your door and hollered “Trick or treat!”

I’m not anti-Christmas. It’s the idea that the holiday is being pushed as soon as the first leaf turns brown. Decorations began springing up in some places in September. Some satellite entertainment channels have been showing made-for-TV movies since August and the Thanksgiving turkey hasn’t even been bought. I have one holiday rule at home — no Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving — and it is strictly followed.

When I was growing up, there was a sense of order to the holidays. Halloween came first, then Thanksgiving. Christmas officially began the day after the Macy’s parade and after the annual Detroit Lions/Green Bay Packers game on Thanksgiving afternoon. For the most part, stores followed that order — Christmas decorations began going up the day after Thanksgiving.

I want to go back to that. I believe there’s too much commercialism with the holidays and I’d like for it to stop. I’d like to see an end to the hype and madness of Black Friday.

I really believe all the merchandising and holiday movies in August takes away from the spirit and joy of the holidays when we should be thankful for having lived another year and be able to spend time with friends and family and remember the reason for Christmas is not to get the latest gadget, but to remember the reason for the season is to celebrate the spirit of peace on earth and goodwill toward man.

I’d like to see us return to that.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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