Early in October, it is highly possible to go into a business establishment that sells garden supplies, and we will find them.  Go into the same business establishment the first week of November, and garden supplies are scarce. Why is that? People still need garden supplies, but evidently the commercial world has not taken this into consideration. What's happening? It is the first, subtle attack on Christmas.

You check your calendar and make sure it's still November. So why are the shelves stocked with Christmas items and Christmas lights on Christmas trees that are already aglow? But it isn't Thanksgiving yet! There is little mention of the pilgrims landing on Plymouth Rock and inviting Native Americans to eat with them and to have a time of giving thanks. A pretty picture, but it could be considered a sneak attack on Christmas. 

One of the best symbols that Thanksgiving is getting ready to arrive is making sure we have bought a turkey. It can be frozen, fresh, already baked or ordered from a catering service. Once we own a turkey, we plan the rest of the Thanksgiving menu. 

We  estimate how many people are going to show up, when they will show up and (for sure) when they will leave. We wonder what our guests might eat for breakfasts and lunches. After all, these people haven't come for only one meal.  

The attack on Christmas now goes into short remission. It's Thanksgiving Day. Everyone is seated around the table. A little child is chosen to give thanks because the prayer will be short and cute. Overindulgence is now enjoyed at a fast pace. The meal that took a week to prepare will evaporate in approximately 26 minutes. 

All of this has happened during the last week of November. December follows. It always has. The month is set aside to celebrate Christ's birth. Really? Not really. It's the month when there is a full-scale attack on  Christmas. Commercialism pulls out all the stops and  arms us with weapons of destruction, mainly credit cards.  

Is it possible to hear over the noises of cash registers and hear what Christmas is all about? If not, maybe we could take our visual clue from the little boy who found an empty basket and walked around the house Christmas day, collecting the baby Jesus from all the mangers. The kid knew what the day was all about. Maybe it was his way of singing "Happy Birthday, Jesus" to us. 

Hopefully, at that moment, the commercial white flag of surrender is raised and signals to the waiting world that Christmas has won! 

Pat Baker lives in Bolivar. She lives there because she never ever wanted to live anyplace else. She collects Christmas mangers.

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