11-17-2017-3-34-36-PM-3888299

Christmas holidays shoved down our throats

You don’t have to be Christian to enjoy the Christmas

holidays.

Clearly, the religious aspects of Christmas have been erased

through years of commercialization, so it’s really not about Jesus, religion or

favoring one faith any more.

But there is one thing that I think is upsetting.

When I was a kid, I thrilled for that moment when we would

wake up and rush down the stairs to dig through neatly wrapped presents under

the Christmas tree.

Christmas was something we anticipated and the anticipation

helped us enjoy it more.

These days, Christmas is little more than an instrument of

sales, revenues and profits.

It’s only Nov. 6 when I wrote this column, folks, and yet

they are already shoving Christmas down our throats. What’s the rush? Can’t we

enjoy Thanksgiving, which is a bigger secular holiday that everyone can enjoy?

That is, if you love this country, of course.

No. Some stores just can’t wait to turn the switch. We’re

like Pavlov’s dogs. Hit the buzzer and we jump.

But at least the dog in the Pavlov experiments got a cookie.

It’s just the opposite with today’s Christmas manipulation. They get the

cookies, our hard-earned wages spent oftentimes on junk we don’t need.

The whole concept of Christmas has changed into a process.

They turn the switch on and throw fancy colored lights, cute little Nutcrackers

that can talk at you, decorate a sandwich in green sprinkles, or have some

overweight dude with a fake white beard doing some “ho, ho, ho-ing!”

And we’re supposed to react by whipping out our wallets and

dumping the cash into their coffers to buy junk just because we’re supposed to

buy something. Gift giving isn’t as genuine as it used to be.

It’s systematic.

You don’t have a choice. You have to buy a present. Giving

is great, of course. I love to give to people in need. I have a few I help

every year because I know that they have nothing all year round.

But by starting this whole thing so early we’ve taken out

the essence of anticipation that makes “giving” so much fun.

Eight weeks is just too long to have to anticipate anything.

Celebrating Christmas so soon shows disrespect for Thanksgiving.

Christmas isn’t supposed to start until after Thanksgiving,

not before. It’s all so not Christian. And, it’s disrespectful to people who

are Jewish or Muslim who don’t celebrate Christmas but who tolerate it as a

part of American cultural traditions.

If I walk into a store and a chubby dude greets me with a

ho, ho, ho so soon, I might just go bonkers on him. Have him dress up like a

turkey. What’s wrong with a fat turkey? Although I always feel bad for turkeys

right about now.

I want a concentrated Christmas, not the diluted variety

driven by greed. A concentrated Christmas of about five weeks is the perfect

time period to enjoy decorations, sing a few carols, watch a few Christmas

movies like Frank Capra’s “It’s A Wonderful Life,” or Charles Dickens’ “A

Christmas Carol.” Also, Jean Shepherd’s “A Christmas Story” about Ralph and his

BB rifle.

I love it. But if I start watching all that now, this early,

or start shopping for presents this soon before Thanksgiving, I’m going to lose

that Christmas spirit.

Hold off, people. What’s the rush? Enjoy life. And

treat Christmas like the treasure that it is. Wait. Anticipate. And enjoy it so

much more.

TALK ABOUT A SCROOGE:

I got this email from a reader regarding my column on

my successful cancer surgery:

On Nov 2, 2017, at 6:24 p.m., Rusty Gate

wrote: “It’s a real shame that the cancer didn’t

kill you, you stupid (expletive deleted). I hope you (expletive deleted) die

real soon.”

That’s why I love what I do, folks!

Ray Hanania is an award-winning columnist, author and

former Chicago City Hall reporter. Email him at [email protected]

Ray Hanania’s column is just a fraction of the content

that appears in this week’s print edition of the Southwest News-Herald. Want to

get the all the news? Pick up the Southwest News-Herald on local newsstands for

just 75 cents a copy. For greater savings and convenience, call (708) 496-0265

during weekday business hours and order a subscription by mail, delivered each

week to your home or business.

Local News

Among local candidates filing petitions on the first day of filing was 13th Ward Ald. Marty Quinn, expected to run on a record of economic development, support for public safety and delivery of services to constituents. --File photo

Political sands shifting

Lopez mayoral exit leaves question marks By Tim Hadac The political sands of mayoral politics shifted last week, leaving many in Clearing and Garfield Ridge asking “What next?” questions. Garfield Ridge native Lopez worked the neighborhoods hard since he announced his mayoral candidacy back in April. His law-and-order stance and sharp criticism of Mayor Lori…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Boys Basketball: Marist, Brother Rice stay unbeaten through two weeks

By Steve Millar Correspondent Marist came into the season with some question marks after losing a pair of key players to transfers and elevating several newcomers, including three freshmen, to the varsity roster. The young RedHawks are, however, off to a blazing 6-0 start. They held on for a 57-55 win on the road Nov.…

Jaeden King of St. Xavier gets ready to score one of his 39 points against Trinity Christian College on Nov. 30. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Local Hoops Wrap: Transfers shining for Saint Xavier in early going

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer The transfer portal is turning college athletics upside down, and Saint Xavier men’s basketball coach Robert Ford is enjoying it. And taking advantage of it. Jaeden King came to SXU in 2021 after transferring from NCAA Division II Tiffin University. Prior to that he played at Western Illinois. He is…

SXU sophomore Kaleigh Ritter, shown in a match earlier this year, had 63 assists in a five-set loss to Cornerstone in the NAIA national tournament. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Area Sports Roundup: College of DuPage repeats as national football champ

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer The College of DuPage, the only junior college in Illinois with a football program, won its second straight National Junior College Athletic Association national championship with a 14-12 victory over North Dakota State College of Science in Glen Ellyn. Former Richards’ standout Marquel Porter caught a 25-yard pass for the…

Officers Verta and Harrison

Godspeed, Officers Verta and Harrison

By Joan Hadac Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge (708) 496-0265 • [email protected] It’s always good to know that even in these challenging times, there are men and women are willing to step forward to brave those challenges. And leave it to Garfield Ridge and Clearing to lead the way. I say that as I…

Virginia Wrobel (from left) and Dorothy Novotney, of the Evergreen Park Senior Citizens Council, present checks to Mayor Kelly Burke from proceeds from the annual "Memories to Go" village-wide garage sale. (Photos by Joe Boyle)

Evergreen Park honors longtime employee

By Joe Boyle The Evergreen Park Village Board took care of some local business before Thanksgiving Day meals will be served. James Bender, a 27-year employee of the Evergreen Park Public Works Department, was selected as the “Employee of the Quarter” and honored at the village board meeting on Monday night. Mayor Kelly Burke recognized Bender…

Police Chief Dan Vittorio holds up the badge as officer Robert Carroll has Thor, the department's new canine officer, on a leash during the Oak Lawn Village Board meeting on November 22. (Photo by Joe Boyle)

Oak Lawn officials say pension relief will not hinder homeowners

By Joe Boyle Oak Lawn Village Manager Tom Phelan said the finances of homeowners need to be addressed while paying off pension deficits. Phelan said during the Oak Lawn Village Board meeting on November 22 that making budget adjustments for next year has to keep residents in mind due to rising inflation. “We may be…

lyons police logo

2 men arrested for Lyons carjacking were out on bond

By Bob Bong Lyons police on Thursday arrested two men suspected of being involved in an attempted carjacking in the 7700 block of 45th Place around 2 p.m. on November 29. Justin Lebron, 20, of Cicero, and Cesar Lopez, 18, of Waukegan, were captured after a foot case, police said. Police Chief Tom Herion said…

Ryan Plowman’s parents, Dan and Jen, receive hugs from the players before Monday night's game. Many knew Ryan from grade school. (Photos by Steve Neuhaus)

Shepard, Stagg teams honor Ryan Plowman

Varsity girl basketball teams from Stagg and Shepard took time out before Monday night’s contest to pay tribute to Shepard student Ryan Plowman, who died earlier this year of complications from mononucleosis. Proceeds from the concession stand were donated to a gofundme campaign in Ryan’s name.  

Paul Stein (at left) and Odysseus Tsarouhis, co-owners of Reichman Jewelers, will be closing the store that has been at 4439 W. 95th St. In Oak Lawn since 1984. (Photo by Dermot Connolly )

Reichman Jewelers to close Oak Lawn store

July shooting of co-owner was deciding factor By Dermot Connolly Violent robberies at their own store and others in the area have led the longtime owners of Reichman Jewelers in Oak Lawn to close their business, which has been located at 4439 W. 95th St., since 1984. Reichman Jewelers dates back to 1908, and was at…

Neighbors

DVN JCs Restoration House Ad
Among local candidates filing petitions on the first day of filing was 13th Ward Ald. Marty Quinn, expected to run on a record of economic development, support for public safety and delivery of services to constituents. --File photo

Political sands shifting

Lopez mayoral exit leaves question marks By Tim Hadac The political sands of mayoral politics shifted last week, leaving many in Clearing and Garfield Ridge asking “What next?” questions. Garfield Ridge native Lopez worked the neighborhoods hard since he announced his mayoral candidacy back in April. His law-and-order stance and sharp criticism of Mayor Lori…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Boys Basketball: Marist, Brother Rice stay unbeaten through two weeks

By Steve Millar Correspondent Marist came into the season with some question marks after losing a pair of key players to transfers and elevating several newcomers, including three freshmen, to the varsity roster. The young RedHawks are, however, off to a blazing 6-0 start. They held on for a 57-55 win on the road Nov.…

Jaeden King of St. Xavier gets ready to score one of his 39 points against Trinity Christian College on Nov. 30. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Local Hoops Wrap: Transfers shining for Saint Xavier in early going

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer The transfer portal is turning college athletics upside down, and Saint Xavier men’s basketball coach Robert Ford is enjoying it. And taking advantage of it. Jaeden King came to SXU in 2021 after transferring from NCAA Division II Tiffin University. Prior to that he played at Western Illinois. He is…

SXU sophomore Kaleigh Ritter, shown in a match earlier this year, had 63 assists in a five-set loss to Cornerstone in the NAIA national tournament. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Area Sports Roundup: College of DuPage repeats as national football champ

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer The College of DuPage, the only junior college in Illinois with a football program, won its second straight National Junior College Athletic Association national championship with a 14-12 victory over North Dakota State College of Science in Glen Ellyn. Former Richards’ standout Marquel Porter caught a 25-yard pass for the…

Officers Verta and Harrison

Godspeed, Officers Verta and Harrison

By Joan Hadac Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge (708) 496-0265 • [email protected] It’s always good to know that even in these challenging times, there are men and women are willing to step forward to brave those challenges. And leave it to Garfield Ridge and Clearing to lead the way. I say that as I…

Virginia Wrobel (from left) and Dorothy Novotney, of the Evergreen Park Senior Citizens Council, present checks to Mayor Kelly Burke from proceeds from the annual "Memories to Go" village-wide garage sale. (Photos by Joe Boyle)

Evergreen Park honors longtime employee

By Joe Boyle The Evergreen Park Village Board took care of some local business before Thanksgiving Day meals will be served. James Bender, a 27-year employee of the Evergreen Park Public Works Department, was selected as the “Employee of the Quarter” and honored at the village board meeting on Monday night. Mayor Kelly Burke recognized Bender…

Police Chief Dan Vittorio holds up the badge as officer Robert Carroll has Thor, the department's new canine officer, on a leash during the Oak Lawn Village Board meeting on November 22. (Photo by Joe Boyle)

Oak Lawn officials say pension relief will not hinder homeowners

By Joe Boyle Oak Lawn Village Manager Tom Phelan said the finances of homeowners need to be addressed while paying off pension deficits. Phelan said during the Oak Lawn Village Board meeting on November 22 that making budget adjustments for next year has to keep residents in mind due to rising inflation. “We may be…

lyons police logo

2 men arrested for Lyons carjacking were out on bond

By Bob Bong Lyons police on Thursday arrested two men suspected of being involved in an attempted carjacking in the 7700 block of 45th Place around 2 p.m. on November 29. Justin Lebron, 20, of Cicero, and Cesar Lopez, 18, of Waukegan, were captured after a foot case, police said. Police Chief Tom Herion said…

Ryan Plowman’s parents, Dan and Jen, receive hugs from the players before Monday night's game. Many knew Ryan from grade school. (Photos by Steve Neuhaus)

Shepard, Stagg teams honor Ryan Plowman

Varsity girl basketball teams from Stagg and Shepard took time out before Monday night’s contest to pay tribute to Shepard student Ryan Plowman, who died earlier this year of complications from mononucleosis. Proceeds from the concession stand were donated to a gofundme campaign in Ryan’s name.  

Paul Stein (at left) and Odysseus Tsarouhis, co-owners of Reichman Jewelers, will be closing the store that has been at 4439 W. 95th St. In Oak Lawn since 1984. (Photo by Dermot Connolly )

Reichman Jewelers to close Oak Lawn store

July shooting of co-owner was deciding factor By Dermot Connolly Violent robberies at their own store and others in the area have led the longtime owners of Reichman Jewelers in Oak Lawn to close their business, which has been located at 4439 W. 95th St., since 1984. Reichman Jewelers dates back to 1908, and was at…

DVN Complete Auto Service House Ad
CRR NH Niego Real Estate House Ad