It's nearing that time of year again - Christmas music playing on the radio and in the stores, halloween decorations being replaced with pilgrims and turkeys and then eventually reindeer and sleighs. As a kid, I lived for these holidays, especially after spending hours drooling over the Sears and JCPenney catalogs.
Now that I'm an adult (opinions vary on that point), Christmas has lost a little of its charm for me. The presents under the tree for me are more practical gifts like pants and socks, and I gave up the catalog daydreams a long time ago. All of the joy in Christmas that really remains for me is the sparkle in my kids' eyes when they open presents on Christmas morning. And I'm okay with that.
However, what I'm not okay with is the annual anti-Christmas movement that goes on all around the country. Companies and organizations have been distancing themselves from the holiday by not using words like Christmas in their ads and events. Never mind the fact that without Christmas, they'd have no holiday shopping rush (who really is out there doing last-minute Kwanzaa or Hanukkah shopping?).
They say it's not inclusive enough. Non-Christians will be offended. I don't really understand this mindset - I was never offended over my Jewish friend's holidays, and Kwanzaa wasn't something I'd ever heard about until the last few years.
But every now and then, something beautiful happens. Something that reminds me that I'm not alone in feeling this way. Something like this:
PATCHOGUE, N.Y. - A famed fireworks company is pulling out of a holiday boat parade because "Christmas" was dropped from the event's name.
Fireworks by Grucci won't lend its sparkle to Patchogue's Nov. 23 parade — decorated yachts on the Patchogue River — because the organizers have renamed it the Patchogue Holiday Boat Parade. It was the Patchogue Christmas Boat Parade last year, when the Grucci company donated $5,000 worth of fireworks.
The company's vice president, Philip Butler, who has criticized the secularization of Christmas in the past, said parade organizers were "using all the themes of Christmas and plagiarizing all those themes."
Bravo, I say. This is a move that puts the lie to the notion of greedy corporate America. Mr. Butler has principles and has made a stand, profit be damned. I doubt you'll hear any liberals complimenting him on it though.
As a consumer, I'm not really a direct customer of a company like Grucci, but if I was on a town committee that organizes fireworks displays, I'd definitely consider throwing them our business.
So this December, have yourself a Merry Christmas, and if that offends you, tough shit. I'll wish it for you anyway.