Another Christmas Season — By John Reed

Another Christmas Season
So out with the turkey and in with the sleigh bells. We’ve barely had time to digest our Thanksgiving feast, but cooks are already planning Christmas dinner. How many to feed? Which random cousin gets put at the kids’ table? Will that one uncle nobody likes make an appearance? Ham this year, or yet more turkey?
For churchgoers, this time of year is known as “Advent.” Sermons will focus a lot on the prophesies of Isaiah, the life of John the Baptist, and finally on that fateful night in Bethlehem. Programs of carols will see church choirs swell to their largest all year.
Schools will be cramming all they can into the last three weeks, including final exams. Kids will be making their wish lists, and trying to be good for at least a little while. Football playoffs will soon be over, basketball hitting its stride. Other athletes are in the weight room, preparing for their seasons.
For farmers, much but not all of the cotton has been picked. Peanuts have been harvested, pecans picked up, sugar cane squeezed. Fields are either being planted with winter wheat or plowed under to lie fallow until the Spring. Soon it will be time to do maintenance on tractors and other equipment.
Elsewhere, things don’t change much. The talking heads at Fox and CNN harangue each other while each reporting their version of the news. Gridlock in Washington continues, each side convinced of their absolute correctness. Our fair city goes deeper into debt.
For those of us of a certain age, this time of year brings a recognition of the cyclic nature of things. Perfume and jewelry commercials make their yearly appearance. Curmudgeons will grouse that the store decorations went up even earlier than last year. But even as the December grind wears on, a new year is coming.
Even after seeing 62 of these seasons come and go, I still look forward to the next with hope and optimism.

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