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.”
Successes continue at Dalton State College
These are exciting times for our local college, Dalton State, both on campus and off.
Mark Millican: The birds hushed their singing
For the uninitiated, that line is from what many consider the greatest rock song of all time, “Stairway to Heaven,” by Led Zeppelin.
Misty Watson: When blood sugar drops, anger rises
It wouldn’t have taken 107 married couples and 21 days to figure out that being hungry makes people angry.
Working for the man
You may be one of the many Americans who will rush to file their income taxes today. But you may not yet have earned enough money to pay all of the taxes that will be imposed on you this year.
Letter: The glib tongue, the fake smile
A recent Daily Citizen column by Walter Williams will both awaken and frighten any thinking person who claims even a smidgen of knowledge about — or belief in — either the Bible, world history or current events.
College soccer team would bring local talent together
Dreams of combining the best soccer players from all local high schools into one team finally could come true.
Letter: Primaries feature many choices
Many people are confused this year about the May 20 Election Day. Unfortunately, very few voters in Whitfield County actually go to the polls for a primary election. But this means any increase in participation can have a significant impact.
Letter: Hooper for Murray chief magistrate
Thanks to all the wonderful people and friends who backed me for District 1 Murray County Board of Education. You sure showed a lot of support. Sorry I had to step down due to my and my wife’s health. I am a lot better now.
Judicial dispute could have been avoided
Judicial elections in Whitfield and Murray counties tend to be low key. In fact, we can’t recall the last time an incumbent judge on the Conasauga Superior Court, which cover the two counties, has even faced a challenger.
Citizen of the Week: Jonathan Rose
Running for exercise is a popular hobby among many local residents, but at least one racing enthusiast plans to take his fun a step further today.
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- Successes continue at Dalton State College