I am in no way anti-Christmas and never say Bah Humbug during the season, however its increased length over the years has got me thinking about this holiday being less about getting together with loved ones and more about buying the perfect winter holiday.
It was two years ago as I was doing a little shopping and noted a store in a mall, on Nov. 1, getting rid of its Halloween articles (makes sense, holiday is done) but then ramping up the empty space allotted from the spooky gear over to all things St. Nick and his cronies.
That is too early as there are still leaves to be collected and gutters to be cleaned as well as summer things to be put away. It is not even winter yet but the Yule inspired songs become omnipresent in malls, waiting rooms and radio stations reminding us all to have a glorious Silent Night. Over and over again.
Our veterans, who defended our country without concern for themselves, have the right of the first two weeks of November at least to be lauded for their efforts and the cost they paid for our older veterans and those from the newer wars as well.
It is the least we can do for those that sacrificed so much. For too many, they return home with real medical concerns and needs and can often feel marginalized back in mainstream society. It must be so difficult to come back to a society that do not have the shared collective they have endured in order to keep us safe, giving us the choice to freely shop for all things Christmas in a war free and thriving nation.
How about instead of Christmas lights before Nov. 11, it is the time to proudly show the image of our soldiers: the poppy. We stick hollowed out gourds on our front yards complete with lighting system to honour All Hallows’ Eve. We need to all place poppies on our homes to show our veterans that their sacrifice will never be in vain.
The asterisk to this would be the good hearted folks at West Island Mission who know that good results come from good planning. In order for them to do their good work of providing Christmas baskets to an expected 300 West Island families, our friends and neighbours, to need their help to ensure a pleasant holiday for their families.
They have a need for help in getting the toys and holiday meal ready. Check their website for details on how to help as their deadline is early December.
Check them out at wimmoi.org.
For the rest of us, let us enjoy Halloween and then turn our focus to those who fought and died to keep us free, still leaving an abundance of time to get out and shop to our heart’s content.