Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Lost Between the Devil and Sinterklaas
Did I miss something? Like Halloween, or maybe Thanksgiving? I hope not. I haven't even bought my Halloween candy and yet while downtown today I noticed they were already putting up the Christmas decorations. Excuse me, but last time I checked, we took our holidays one at the time.
Doesn't everyone understand that red and green clashes horribly with orange and black, let alone brown, orange, and green. Perhaps the children should just dress up as carolers and in lieu of saying "Trick or Treat", sing a stanza or two of "It Came Upon A Midnight Clear". That would solve all the problems - maybe not the ones in our nation's capitol. There, we can all pray for miracles and only hope, come next November, the electorate does not suffer from amnesia as is so often the case, but I digress.
Back to the matter hand. Come to think of it, there is that movement among many churches to offer alternatives to the pagan holiday of All Hallow's Eve (Halloween) for the young impressionable minds of carnivals and parties to prevent them from just what, I am not sure. Most of us make it to All Saints Day unscathed and with our souls and morals intact.
Well, the exception being the citizens of Detroit, who endured "Devil's Night" in their city between the 1970's and mid 1990's. This was actually October 30th, the night prior to Halloween, but close enough. Annually, on this night, the inner-city neighborhoods of Detroit would suffer 100's of incidents of arson and vandalism. Many say that quarter century of crime and horror were the being of the downfall of Detroit.
Evangelicals and the citizens of Detroit aside, Halloween is still a commercial success for business and a good time for all ages. And, everyone knows the yuletide is the trifecta of the Christian's celebration of the birth of Jesus, the arrival Santa, aka St. Nicholas, Kris Kringle, Sinterklaas, and then the rolling end of the New Year.
But, once again it is the poor Thanksgiving Turkey that gets short changed. What used to be the greatest family dinner of the year has now become a meal lost somewhere in the melee of football games, a giant parade of balloons, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday.
I fear this was not the initial plan. Wasn't Thanksgiving the feast of peace and thanks for a good harvest shared between the pilgrims in the new world (happy to still be alive) and the native Americans (beginning to wonder when these visitors were going home)?
So I inquired as why the haste to "deck the halls" so early in our fair town. The answer - because the opening ceremony is Thanksgiving night. Can the Turkey have his day?