Archive for Thursday, December 15, 2005

A Christmas worth voting for

December 15, 2005

I've finally come to the realization that whether I like it or not, Christmas is here. And, no, I won't do the "politically correct" winter holiday season or what-not cop out. It's Christmas, for crying out loud.

The first sign, of course, was the city's Christmas decorations being placed on the light poles. That's an easy one to shrug off since it happens the first week of November. Yes, that's way too early, but that's the lighting company's schedule, not ours.

Of course, about the same time the Christmas advertising starts cranking up. I laugh at them initially, but, of course, they keep coming and coming. There's no end in site for awhile, either.

No, I never give Christmas even a glancing thought until Thanksgiving is over. That also used to signal the start of putting house Christmas lights up, but that's changed. I haven't even opened the box yet this year.

The season really gets swinging when the city Christmas tree goes up at the corner of Eighth and High streets the first week of December. Then, it's decorated sometime that week.

I think it's safe to say that this year's tree is the best in memory. The last two years, the trees have been way too big and next to impossible to decorate. Before that was the infamous tree that Phyllis Hobson called "Charlie Brown's Christmas tree."

You all remember that one, don't you? I've had a lot of people bring it and the other trees up this year after the Friends of Baldwin City Recreation Commission did such a great job with this year's tree. As most recall, the "Charlie Brown" tree was different and actually quite gorgeous -- at night with its lights on. During the day, well, I'm not so sure Phyllis wasn't right.

But, it seems most people remember it better than the last two mammoth trees that never did quite cut it. But, this year's Christmas tree is perfect.

Mine isn't up.

I intend to do that this weekend. Other decorations will be going up tonight, including those outside lights. College finals are over and the boys, excuse me, young men will be around, so Christmas needs to be celebrated.

Of course, it isn't just the tree that really screams Christmas in Baldwin. That would be the "big Sunday" where Baker University has its annual Candlelight Vespers programs, the ever-growing and more popular annual Light Parade is downtown and, as a capper, Santa Claus lights the tree -- no matter how big, small, gaudy or gorgeous it is.

Those events have become so popular in town and it's good to see. Having the Lumberyard available for refreshments, chatter, art and just a chance to get out of the cold has helped. Everyone gets in the Christmas spirit.

And, that's just in time to go home and see more advertising. You know the season is in full swing when the Chia Pets are going strong. Chi, chi, chi Chia. How that makes Christmas to me, I'm not sure.

But, for whatever reason, those commercials have inspired me. I'm full bore into the season now.

Heck, I'm even almost done with my Christmas shopping and it's not even close to Dec. 24. That's a record, but I am not done. Plenty of time yet.

So, with all those changes and traditions for me for Christmas, it still hit me that something was different, very different, for this Yuletide.

Oh, that goes back to politics.

No, I didn't ask Santa Claus for it and I don't think anyone else did either, but we've got a new Christmas event this year in Baldwin. It's the election. You know, the one about alcohol and its sale on Sundays. It will be Dec. 22, just in time for that last-minute holiday rush where office, school and private parties all collide with various Christmas programs, the Vinland Nativity scene, last-minute shopping and travel.

Baldwin has never had an election in December. We're seeing why now. It just doesn't make sense. But, that's the way the laws are written regarding protest petitions on actions taken by various boards, such as occurred with the Baldwin City Council's approval of Sunday alcohol sales.

So, whether you're "fer" or "agin" alcohol sales on Sunday, please don't forget to vote. It's really about allowing Baldwin businesses to compete with its neighbors. Alcohol is readily available in Baldwin on Sundays already at the various bars. This is not about prohibition, it's about business competition. That's why the council approved it.

Let's call it what it is, not the "PC" type thing where Santa has to say "lady of the evening, lady of the evening, lady of the evening" instead of Ho, ho, ho.

So, let's celebrate our right, I'll see you at the polls and to all a good night.

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