Column: Put the tree away ’til December

Happy Halloween, I guess.It is difficult to be happy about Halloween when I know tomorrow the shopping centers will be full of Christmas decorations. The mall people are probably beginning the transition as you read this column.

They are putting up the fake snow and larger-than-life candy canes. They are popping in the tape with Christmas tunes to blare on the loud speaker. Every year, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas way too early.

Now, I enjoy celebrating the birth of the Lord just as much as the next guy. Unless, of course, the next guy is Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist or Hindu. (Fun Fact: The majority of the world’s population does not practice Christianity.)

But the problem of premature decorating is a problem that plagues all Americans – no matter what faith.It seems someone has decided that Nov. 1 is the day we should begin with Christmas celebrations.

People, have you lost your minds? Do the math. Nov. 1- Dec. 25. And then we must get through New Year’s celebrations. OK, that’s almost two and a half months of Christmas songs and good cheer. How much celebration do we really need? And to be honest, I just can’t handle another extended holiday season.

I am serious about setting some boundaries this year. Because if this continues, what’s next? Christmas in July? We must band together and fight this injustice. If we work together, we can put the correct ‘day’ back in ‘holiday.’

As I reported last year, the beginning of the Christmas season does not officially begin until Santa Claus rides down Fifth Avenue in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.

If I had my way, nary a single light shall twinkle or a note of a carol be hummed until Al Roker or Willard Scott or one of those guys says, “Here’s the guy we have all been waiting for.”

I have written President Bush, and while I know he is busy with saving the world from the “evil-doers,” I think he needs to address this problem. Perhaps he could sneak into one of those sweeping anti-terrorism bills an amendment that forbids any type of Christmas or holiday displays until after the parade. And the penalties should be swift and severe.

And what’s the matter with Thanksgiving, anyway? Why are we so quick to forget about the one day of the year when eating becomes a sport?

Do we really want to be known as the country that just skips straight to the present-giving holiday and forgets all about the eating-like-a-pig holiday? People in other countries already hate us.

And did we forget about the true meaning of Thanksgiving? About how the people that founded this great nation dressed up as Pilgrims and had a nice dinner with the Native Americans. They had turkey and corn – that’s also called maize.

Although, the new arrivals weren’t politically correct and they didn’t call them Native Americans. In fact, later down the road, the people who came to the New World would take away all the Native Americans’ land and give them diseases and generally wreak havoc with their way of life. But, I digress.

So, who is with me? Let’s tell the shop owners that we will refuse to darken their doorways if they are willing participants of this massive Madison Avenue conspiracy. Perhaps next year, I will enjoy Halloween as much as Laurie does. (Happy Birthday, Laurie.)