We’ve won the ‘war’ in Suffolk

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 14, 2005

I’ve finally started trying to get ready for Christmas. I’m a little late this year, but things are starting to come together.

Our tree is up and decorated; there are a few strands of lights around the door and a couple bushes; and I’ve started to think a little about what to presents to buy for my family for Christmas.

The reason I’m behind is it’s been an awfully busy time. We’re working on a redesign of the News-Herald which has been gobbling up huge amounts of prime normal working hours, leaving any free time I have to get caught up on what I left undone.


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Somewhere in the hectic pace, I appear to have completely failed to pick up on the fact that there’s a war going on. Not the war in Iraq, or Afghanistan or the war on terror, but a war on Christmas.

I caught a glimpse or two of one of those Fox News graphics touting the war on TV last week and I’ve heard Bill O’Reilly talk about it on his radio show – it’s the only talk show on typically when I’m driving home from work.

Apparently, much to my surprise, there’s a huge American Civil Liberties Union/Grinch-led conspiracy afoot to highjack an airliner and slam it into the National Christmas Tree or something.

I understand one of the president’s daily intelligence briefings was recently titled, &uot;Grinch determined to strike inside Toys-R-Us.&uot;

I knew it was serious when I saw administration officials on &uot;Meet the Press,&uot; &uot;Face the Nation,&uot; and &uot;This Week,&uot; Sunday morning touting the Grinch’s stockpile of lumps of coal for stockings, citing a 2002 meeting between the Grinch and Saddam’s intelligence operatives in Prague, and efforts by the Grinch to purchase fruitcake uranium in Niger – proving the &uot;smoking gun&uot; between the Grinch and the war on terrorism.

Perhaps I’ve missed the War on Christmas because it doesn’t seem to be happening here. I haven’t heard of a single suicide attack or improvised explosive device in all of Suffolk.

In fact, it’s beginning to seem like Suffolk is a Christmas stronghold. The insurgents, if they were ever here, have been routed.

Evidence to back up my claims of victory over the anti-Christmas forces came last week when more than $12,000 was collected for the Cheer Fund. Huge, bunker-busting $5,000 donations from Holland Enterprises and the downtown Wal-Mart devastated any hopes the Grinch or ACLU had of hijacking our holiday. We also received bombardment of sizeable donations last week from Mike Duman Auto Sales, Ciba Specialty Chemicals, the Suffolk Ruritans and SunTrust Bank.

The Cheer Fund will surpass the halfway mark this week toward our goal of $45,000, that still leaves a long way to go, however. As a reminder, all money donated to the Cheer Fund goes to fund Toys for Tots in Suffolk (Administration costs are $0), which will provide quality toys for more than 2,000 children in our community who otherwise might not receive anything. Send your check to: Cheer Fund, c/o Suffolk News-Herald, P.O. Box 1220, Suffolk, VA 23439.

If there is a war on Christmas, it’s being waged by both ends of the political spectrum – the ACLU and the O’Reilly’s – who want to exploit the holiday to frighten people and to pursue their own agendas of increased contributions or higher ratings. It’s not here.

Christmas is a celebration of the birth, life and teachings of Jesus. We’re blessed that people in Suffolk are well aware of that and are coming through to provide a great Christmas for children here

Andy Prutsok is publisher of the News-Herald. He can be reached at 934-9601 or at andy.Prutsok@suffolknewsherald.com.