I recognize the importance that Christmas has for most – economically, emotionally, spiritually – but if I may bah-humbug for a minute, may I say that the holiday’s reach has gone too far?

I applaud the many community efforts being made across Lake County to raise spirits as days turn cold. I fully endorse community events, clothing drives, food shares and communal meals for those in need…but is it too much to ask to just take things one holiday at a time? Am I the only one that feels like Thanksgiving gets a truly raw deal, as Christmas refuses to stay in its own lane?

During our Thanksgiving celebration our family watched one of Thanksgiving’s grand traditions – the Macy’s Day Parade – and not surprisingly nearly every single float or entry involved wasn’t celebrating Thanksgiving but was in full-fledged Christmas-mode blaring Christmas songs, in Christmas attire, and of course plenty of pageantry for Santa’s grand entrance. Am I the only one that finds that just a tad insulting on behalf of the Thanksgiving holiday to be told to move aside on its big day?

Let’s face it -- the Christmas season has been here since the day after Halloween, maybe even before that. Black Friday shopping madness has lost some of its luster. With the increase in online shopping and retail’s insistence on pushing holiday sales infringing further into other holiday seasons; I’m sure I’m not alone in already having much of my obligated gift shopping done well in advance to the day we’re supposed to be waiting outside stores at 3 a.m. in sub-freezing temperatures.

It is impossible to catch a breather from the Christmas juggernaut. No TV commercial break provides a respite, a certain news organization renews their laughable annual hysteria of a completely non-existent supposed “War on Christmas,” and the music is inescapable. I get it, people love the holiday. It is the only religious-based holiday in this country that has also been declared a national holiday by Congress. That’s great, enjoy it, but the onslaught of Christmas does at a certain point grow tiresome.

The over-indulgence in Christmas also comes across as somewhat insulting to those in this country that don’t follow a Christian faith – millions of American citizens who revel in Hannukkah, Tet, Kwanzaa, Eid Al-Fitr, the Winter Solstice, or the sarcastically alt-Christmas celebration based on a classic Seinfeld episode – Festivus. Festivus celebrations have been growing in great popularity in recent years for those who may still do Christmas, but find the over-abundance and commerciality a tad unnerving.

Perhaps it is the six-year-old in our house who has not stopped singing Christmas songs since the day after Thanksgiving, perhaps it is the past month of Christmas ads that started long before Thanksgiving’s arrival; but some years I really wish that we took it just one holiday at a time. Thanksgiving is over, now by all means commence with your holly-jolly revelry, but after enduring it for the past two months already, I can’t be alone in being slightly tired.

I still enjoy the day itself, gathering with family and seeing the joy in children’s eyes when they receive a gift they wanted, it’s the run-up that at least for me has started to wear out its welcome. I don’t mean to prevent others from enjoying the season to their heart’s content, but for me I prefer holidays to not last three months. Celebrate in grand style, Lake County, however you choose to enjoy it. Now excuse me as I raise the Festivus pole and prepare feats of strength.


— Kurt Liedtke

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