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Wasatch Behind: Christmas comes early to the Wasatch Behind

By TOM McCOURT
Sun Advocate reporter

"Holly cow," Uncle Spud said with a startled look on his whiskered old face. "The city is putting up Christmas lights all along Carbon Avenue and it's not even Halloween yet. What is going on?"

"I don't have a clue," I said as I slowly turned the pages of my new Cabela's Christmas catalog.

"Some of the stores are putting up Christmas decorations too," Uncle Spud said sadly. "It gets worse every year."

"Yeah," I said. "Every year they seem to sneak it up a week or two. We used to take down all of the Thanksgiving decorations before putting up the Christmas stuff. It just didn't seem right for Santa's helpers to be peeking in the windows through cardboard turkeys and pilgrims. I can't even imagine them peeking through paper skeletons, witches, and black cats to see if we've been naughty or nice."

"I just don't understand it," Uncle Spud said with a tone of frustration in his voice. "I don't have anything against Christmas, Santa Claus, or even Elves with funny shoes, but I sure hate to see old Kris Kringle push Halloween to the back seat. I mean � I like Halloween, and we should be able to celebrate each individual holiday and not have them overlap each other. Don't you agree?"

"I do agree," I nodded as I filled out the early-bird order form to buy the little woman a new Leopold rifle scope for Christmas, something she has always secretly wanted but was too shy to ask for.

"I mean, if we have Christmas for Halloween, why not dress the little devils up as reindeer, snowmen, and shepherds?" Uncle Spud asked.

"Yea," I said, catching the spirit of the thing. "I could put on a bathrobe and go trick-or-treating as Round John Virgin, the fat guy in the song Silent Night."

Uncle Spud smiled.

"Yeah," he said. "And, it would be a great way to get rid of that old Christmas candy, dried up cherry chocolates, and last year's mummified fruitcake. We could give it all to the trick-or-treaters."

"Great idea," I said.

"And," Uncle Spud continued enthusiastically. "Instead of just giving the little urchins a bag of old Christmas candy, we could make them sing Christmas carols out there on the porch in their Halloween costumes. Now wouldn't that be something?"

He smiled impishly.

"Or we could turn it all around and combine Halloween with Christmas," I suggested. "How about a big grinning jack-o-lantern on top of the Christmas tree, or a witch's hat on old Saint Nicholas?

"Brilliant," Uncle Spud said with a smile. "We could decorate our homes with Christmas lights that spell out boo, beware, or rest in peace."

"You got it!" I laughed.

But then, Uncle Spud got wistful and moody.

"Isn't it sad that things have come to this?" he said. "Couldn't we wait another week or two and see the witches, ghouls, and goblins on their way before we start putting up what are supposed to be religious symbols? Couldn't we hold off on the commercial feeding frenzy until after our national day of great pumpkin frivolity? It's like crossing Christ out of Christmas all over again. What does God think when we send each other Merry Xmas cards?"

"Good points," I admitted, sheepishly.

Uncle Spud smiled.

"When I think about it all, I find that I agree with Jay Leno. The other night on his TV show he said that with all of the natural disasters, weird diseases, wars and rumors of wars happening all around the world today, maybe this isn't a good time to be taking 'under God' out of our pledge of allegiance."

This might not be a good time to be further corrupting our most sacred of religious holidays either. I can't help but see something ghoulish about little ghosts and goblins passing below streetlights decorated with God's heralding angels and Christmas stars.

Now, don't get me wrong. I have no problem with celebrating Halloween. Halloween is a fun time for children and a way to make light of our superstitious, pagan past. But, in my humble opinion, we should save Christmas for a special time when we can give our attention to God and religious matters.

To blend Christmas into Thanksgiving is one thing.

To blend it into Halloween is something else again.





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