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Seconds ticking away toward holiday season

Seconds ticking away toward holiday season

Posted: Friday, October 28, 2011 8:01 pm
By: By Kevin Bowden, Staff Reporter

Seconds ticking away toward holiday season | Kevin Bowden, Just A Thought

Ho, Ho, Ho and Merry Christmas.
Well, I figure if stores can already have their Christmas merchandise out then I should be able to begin celebrating the holiday season.
Forget Halloween, Thanksgiving and Guy Fawkes Day, retailers want us to believe it’s already time to deck the halls with boughs of holly.
Strange thing about this time of year. It seems to come earlier and earlier every year.
Pretty soon we’ll be taking down our Fourth of July decorations and replacing them with mistletoe and holly. You’ve probably heard of Christmas in July sales campaigns?
It hardly seems possible that Christmas is just around the corner, as retailers would have you believe, considering farmers are still harvesting their crops and I’m still wearing short sleeves.
Say it ain’t so.
But it is and this should be a very interesting holiday season.
I don’t have any colorful stories to tell about Southern holiday traditions, but I can tell you about how we celebrated Christmas when I was a boy in England.
You’ve maybe heard of the 12 days of Christmas, well that’s how things worked for us. We would put up and decorate our Christmas tree on Christmas Eve. On Christmas morning we’d get up and open the doors and the tree would be all lit up and the presents would be scattered around the base of the tree — Santa Claus had come!
The tree would remain up for 12 days and the day after Christmas (the second day of Christmas) was known as Boxing Day.
There would be carolling and various church events. There would be Christmas shopping, but not until after Thanksgiving. I miss those days.
OK, if you’re still reading my column you’re probably wondering about Guy Fawkes Day.
Let me explain.
It’s been a long time since I’ve had to relate the story, so some of my facts might be a little fuzzy, but Guy Fawkes was one of a group of rebels who where unhappy with King James I in the early 1600s. The plan was to use kegs of gunpowder stored in the basement underneath Parliament to blow up Parliament. It would be the equivalent of blowing up Congress.
Well, the gunpowder plot was discovered on Nov. 5 and Fawkes was captured and executed.
British government was saved!
So we celebrate the fact that Parliament wasn’t blown up by observing Bonfire Day. We light a bonfire, toss in a few fireworks and burn an effigy of Fawkes to celebrate.
I haven’t observed Bonfire Day in more than 40 years, but next weekend I’ll be in Samburg celebrating Guy Fawkes Day with Eddie and Juni Fickle. I’m sure it’ll be an entertaining evening.
And after that maybe I can get into the Christmas mood…
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Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted by email at kmbowden@ucmessenger.com.

Published in The Messenger 10.28.11

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