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Point of View: Keep Christmas enthusiasm in its right place

Nov. 10, 2010

Let me start out by saying I love Christmas. I love everything about the Christmas season ­-- the music, the holiday scents, the atmosphere in all the department stores.

I own tacky Christmas sweaters and jewelry and wear them with pride. I am a full-fledged believer in live Christmas trees, colorful Christmas socks and stockings for all my pets.

What makes Christmas special is that it only comes once a year. From Thanksgiving to Christmas there is a special energy in the air, fueled by expectant children and zealous salespeople.

While I clearly love Christmas, I concede that all this energy would be exhausting if it extended longer than its proper season. Cinnamon and evergreen candles lose their charm eventually, and some of those Christmas songs get pretty annoying after their 500th replay over three weeks.

What has caused my grinch-like rant, you may ask? The first week of November I ventured into Macy's only to be greeted by a holiday gifts display. A week later, I was accosted by Christmas trees in Dillard's. I escaped into the mall only to realize holiday music was being played over mall speaker system. In case you don't remember my opening statement, I love holiday gift displays, Christmas trees and holiday music.

I look forward to these accoutrements of the holiday season ­-- I relish the joy Christmas invariably brings. Christmas, however, has a time and place. That time is AFTER Thanksgiving. Everyone (except for the people in charge at the malls) knows that Christmas music goes on the radio the day after Thanksgiving. Only after the leftover turkey has been consumed in that last turkey sandwich can the Christmas decorations emerge from their boxes in the attic.

Christmas is the best season in my book, but there is something about the anticipation fall brings that can't be replaced. When the temperature starts to drop and Starbucks puts out its pumpkin spice lattes, you know things are looking up.

School is almost out and nature takes on a different color palette.

Fall is a season for sitting around, sipping coffee and doing homework outside. Texas might not get a lot of the seasonal signs that fall is here, but that is only another reason that we must strive to keep Christmas in its place. It upsets me to see grocery aisle displays go straight from Halloween candy to Christmas lights. Turkeys need to be cooked and eaten as much as Santa needs to be fed Christmas cookies.

If we don't keep this shindig under control, pretty soon stores will skip straight from Back to School marketing to red and green oreo cookies and children will be deprived of their ghoulish costumes and coloring book cornucopias.

In an age that champions diversity, let's keep Christmas under control so we can celebrate a whole plethora of holidays, instead of blowing one so out of proportion it consumes every other season.

Amy Heard is a junior English major from San Antonio and a copy editor for the Lariat.