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Happy Holiday Card Day Parade

One of these days, we’re all going to learn just what holiday is being celebrated with Suffolk’s annual “Holiday Parade,” which is set for 7 p.m. Dec. 9 in the downtown area.

For the past several years, city officials have refused to refer to the big parade that is held in December and that features an appearance by Santa Claus as a “Christmas Parade,” instead opting for the more generic moniker.

One of our favorite fall sports has been the annual attempt to trip up a city spokesperson or two, thinking that we might get them to accidentally refer to the event as a “Christmas parade” at some point, but they’re a wily bunch down at City Hall, and they have steadfastly refused to use any other term besides “holiday parade” for this event in recent years.

Perhaps there’s some other holiday they hope not to slight by narrowing the focus to Christmas. Of course, since the parade features lights, Christmas decorations and jolly Old St. Nick, it would have to be a holiday that shares those traditions, to say nothing of the Christian icons that are normally included on the floats of participating churches.

Various websites devoted to such matters as obscure holidays offer a couple of possibilities. Perhaps Suffolk’s parade also celebrates International Anti-Corruption Day. That’s a worthy effort, indeed, and we can see how the theme of lights fits in with bringing to light unethical practices around the world, but the Santa part of Suffolk’s parade would then be a bit of a head-scratcher.

Perhaps Suffolk seeks to honor National Pastry Day. Again, consider us all-in on this idea — who doesn’t love a good pastry? — but we’re thinking that if pastries are the focus, someone should maybe coordinate a big pastry cook-off, or at least set up a pastry giveaway to take place after the parade.

This year’s parade coincides with International Children’s Day, which makes a lot of sense, since children love parades, and they love Santa, too. Of course, our own parents would have quibbled with the whole idea of there being a holiday devoted to children. In fact, when we suggested such a thing as youngsters in response to a long series of Mother’s Days Father’s Days, we distinctly recall their response: “Every day is Children’s Day.” In that case, a parade might be a bit much.

It turns out there is one holiday that fits almost every part of the city’s planned celebration. One that’s NOT Christmas. TimeAndDate.com tells us that Dec. 9 is actually “Christmas Card Day,” which honors Sir Henry Cole, an Englishman who is said to have sent the first Christmas cards in 1843.

Surely that’s a day that one would expect folks who work for Hallmark to celebrate, but we’re surprised it’s such a big deal to the folks at Suffolk City Hall. Still, if they are going to celebrate it, they might want to be careful about wishing one another a Happy Christmas Card Day. Someone might get offended that no such greetings are offered at other times of the year.

Perhaps it would just be safer for those who want to celebrate this auspicious occasion to proclaim a Happy Holiday Card Day and be done with it. If they’d hand out pastries along with the greetings, we think most everybody would go home satisfied.