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What happened to the Christmas spirit this year?

Is it just me, or did we forget the Christmas spirit this year?

I know some of you have been wearing those red and white felt hats, a few have dressed up as Santa and elves, and many, including the newspaper staff, have held parties, but overall it just seems flat this year.

Maybe it’s the weather. After all, it seems more like spring than winter, and we all know how the weather can affect us.

But there are some things missing.

Where are the smells of Christmas, you know, pine, cakes, pies and candy baking, those kinds of things?

Driving around the city, it doesn’t seem like there are as many decorations as there were last year — my first holiday in Suffolk.

From everything I have heard the economy is good, unemployment is down, so it would make sense that we would be celebrating more.

I was at one of the Hampton Roads malls Friday — I can’t believe I got close to one of those places so near to the big day — and except for larger-than-normal crowds, it sure didn’t feel like Christmas.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to put a humbug in this year’s holiday; it’s just a feeling I have.

When I was growing up you couldn’t avoid Christmas. It was everywhere.

Everybody seemed to decorate, at least inside, and you could almost always see their tree through the largest window in the house.

And there was Christmas music everywhere. Not so much anymore.

I wonder if it is because we have become too sensitive as a society and we have let political correctness take over.

After all, we certainly wouldn’t want to offend anybody by playing Christmas carols, would we?

And what’s with this “happy holidays” stuff? What does that mean?

And I don’t even want to get into the situation at the Seattle airport, where officials yanked all the Christmas trees because a rabbi made some comment about the lack of a menorah.

I don’t know; maybe it’s just a fleeting thing and next year we can all return to what Christmas used to be like.

I did see a news report the other morning where correspondents were reporting from Iraq, Afghanistan and South Korea. And in each and every shot there was a Christmas tree, some presents and folks celebrating just like we did in the good old days.

It warmed my heart to see those in uniform celebrating the holiday even though they were thousands of miles away from their loved ones, with little or no chance of being able to come home. I know what that is like having served eight years myself.

I pray that those men and women will have a wonderful Christmas and come home safely very soon.

Cheer Fund

Speaking of Christmas, one thing that is

exciting is how close we are to reaching our $45,000 goal for the Cheer Fund. You cannot imagine how many children that will help.

I almost went to the barbershop the other day, but decided against it in case we reach our goal in the next few days.

If you recall, I promised to get a Marine Corps cut if we succeed. So, I couldn’t see paying for two cuts in less than one week.

Since it is the holidays, and they are very much about giving, I am giving all of you more time to donate.

I will extend my promise through the first of the year. So, if we meet the goal by Dec. 31, I will head off to the barbershop.

Guess my wife will just have to put up with the “Eddie Munster” look a lttle bit longer.

We’re all screwed up

Did you hear the one about the boy, 5, being charged with sexual harrassment for pinching a female classmate on the rear end?

It’s true. It happened some place up north, Connecticut, I think.

We better watch out what is happening here. When little boys and girls cannot play together without fear of being sued for doing what little boys and girls do, we are in trouble.

Grant is the managing editor of the Suffolk News-Herald. Contact him at doug.grant@suffolknewsherald.com. or 934-9603.