Small Business Saturday.
It’s hard to remember — did we take off last Thursday for an actual day of Thanks-giving?
I know, I know. A case could be made it’s hypocritical for someone in the newspaper business whose salary is partially paid by advertisers to take them to task for heralding that shopping season is underway. But it does seem we overlook — maybe not actually forget — the true meaning of Thanksgiving and Christmas in our rush to get those shopping days started sooner and sooner.
For example, we were hit with the dire news recently that not only would prime shopping days be fewer since Turkey Day came so late in the month, but the recent government shutdown would knock projected overall retail sales off by 2 percent.
The worst example of shopping fever happened in Long Island, N.Y., when a worker at a large retail store was trampled to death as the doors opened the day after Thanksgiving. Then shoppers became angry when other store employees and emergency personnel tried to establish a safe zone to help the man.
Black Friday, indeed.
As John Stonestreet pointed out last week in a BreakPoint.org commentary on Advent season, sometimes we get to feeling like Charlie Brown when he cried out to Linus in the TV classic, “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” “Can’t anyone tell me what Christmas is all about?”
And Linus’ response, reciting the story of the Baby Jesus from the Book of Luke, was classic — and extraordinary — television viewing. A documentary several years ago on the success of “Peanuts” told how Charles Schulz fought Hollywood producers to keep the biblical story in the cartoon special — and won. After all, he was the author of the comic strip and evidently believed the Author of the Bible.
Stonestreet opined that the diverse characters in the Advent story (from the Latin “adventus” for arrival, signaling the Christmas season is nigh) shared a common bond. Mary, Elizabeth, Zacharias, Joseph, the shepherds, the wise men, Anna and Simeon should all have been aware of the Old Testament prophecies of the coming Messiah, and realized God’s promises of old were coming true in their midst — in stunning detail.
If we can get that perspective, Stonestreet continued, that all this was happening as something God had planned and spoke through his prophets about for thousands of years, then we too can get excited. And why not? Just reading the angel Gabriel’s words to Mary — “With God, nothing will be impossible” — broadens our horizons and fills us with hope and excitement for the future.
It’s really up to us, isn’t it? The wonder of Christmas, I mean. Aside from the TV specials — animated or otherwise — plus the decorations, caroling, Christmas dinners and parties, and gifts, surely it would behoove us to read the first two chapters in Luke and Matthew, share the passages with our families and seek out those who have much less than we do. In other words, live out the Christmas story ourselves.
Perhaps I’m a dreamer, but I envision Jesus saying to us all, “Share my love with someone this special season.” As Linus would conclude, “That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”
Sacrifices worth honoring
Members of the Dalton City Council were recently approached by representatives of the local chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart with a request to declare Dalton a Purple Heart City. Council members indicated they will approve the request.
We must do better
The numbers tell a sad tale.
Registered voters: 36,843.
Cards cast: 5,307.
That means the turnout for Tuesday’s runoffs in Whitfield County was a measly 14.4 percent, according to unofficial results from the Whitfield County elections office.
Letter: Control immigration
Thousands are starting to pour into our country, and things are getting personal. Why would we end up the bad guys if we turn away children who aren’t ours? How does it make us better people to let one man steal from our children and stand by and do nothing?
Helping with Book Blast betters the community
The school test results are in, and students in Whitfield and Murray counties mostly improved from a year ago, mirroring or exceeding average scores of their peers.
Mark Millican: Guns are already everywhere
Though it happened over 30 years ago, the image is still vivid.
Charles Oliver: Former officer works overtime improperly
Stephen F. Hall has pleaded guilty to theft by deception and falsifying a government record.
Dalton council should seek answers
Judicial elections in this area are usually pretty staid. In fact, they are generally nonexistent, since most judges run unopposed.
Letter: Something to think about
It has been better than four months now since Malaysia Flight 370 went missing. During that time we have heard all kinds of speculation, conjecture and opinions as to what happened to it. The only certainties to emerge are that the Malaysians fumbled the ball early on and there are some understandably distressed loved ones left to deal with their losses.
Don’t forget the runoff
Most folks are either getting ready for or still recovering from their summer vacations. So it’s easy to forget that Tuesday is an election day. A runoff election day to be precise.
Be excited about a new grocery store, but stay loyal to the Green Spot
The Daily Citizen reported on the front page of the July 15 newspaper that Dalton could get a new grocery store.
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- Sacrifices worth honoring