Go ask Santa

Published 7:16 pm Saturday, November 24, 2012

For the past few years, I’ve written on this page about the frustration I and others have felt with the city of Suffolk for its insistence on referring to its various Christmas-themed events as “Holiday” this or that.

In fact, while talking with news editor Tracy Agnew about the city’s plans for its December events recently, a Suffolk spokesperson suggested that I get ready to pull out one of those old opinion pieces, as I’d have the same complaint again this year. During a newsroom discussion last week, I noted the apparent futility of my campaign to get the city to acknowledge the holiday it’s capitalizing upon, and I wondered whether I should just let it all go in favor of normalizing my blood pressure.

But I said then, and I’ll say again now: I’ve never been one to back down in the face of futility. Perhaps as with Sisyphus, condemned to roll his boulder up the hill over and over again, I must perform this task for a lifetime and alone. Yet I will continue.


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The city plans a variety of “holiday” events throughout the coming month. The Holiday Open House in Downtown Suffolk this weekend will feature gingerbread house building, appearances by the Nutcracker ballet and visits with Santa, all within a “Holidays in Toyland” theme. It seems safe to say the event is not commemorating the recently departed Thanksgiving holiday.

The following weekend is another big “holiday” weekend in Suffolk. The streets will come to life on Dec. 8, when the Suffolk Holiday Parade marches along North Main and Washington Streets. Santa will make another appearance in the parade, which will begin at 7 p.m. and once again feature lighted floats and other treats.

The following day, the Suffolk Visitor Center will host “A Traditional Holiday Tea,” which will give parents and their children a chance to dress in their finest “holiday” attire to enjoy festive treats. Advertisements for both events feature lots of red and green, ribbons and bows, holly and evergreen boughs. That’s probably not all in honor of Boxing Day.

Suffolk kicked off this “holiday” season with a Grand Illumination at Market Park, where the mayor and city officials gathered to light the city’s festive tree and other decorations. There was no mention during the festivities of anybody celebrating Arbor Day.

So just what is this holiday that Suffolk celebrates without naming it? Maybe we can ask Santa if he knows.