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Clarksburg
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CURRENT STORIES


Sights, sounds of Christmas

by Bob Stealey

editor

They tell me it's now officially the Christmas season -- now that Thanksgiving is over. "Black Friday" came and went. Why would they call it that, anyway?

From a dollars and cents point of view, which seems to be the only real vantage point that matters anymore, a busy Christmas shopping day like Friday would ordinarily be seen as a bright spot.

As it turned out in the North Central West Virginia region, however, it was at least a "gray Friday," weather-wise. Ol' Santa certainly got a soggy, chilly reception upon his arrival at the Harrison County Courthouse Plaza. The coldest, windiest corner in the city surely lived up to its reputation. Let's only hope that parade-goers in whatever city they happen to be this season will have decent conditions to enjoy the procession.

Back not that many years ago, one of the things about the secular celebration of Christmas was enjoying Christmas cookies, usually sugar cookies that were either iced or plain. Also, I just loved gingerbread cookies. But these extra little treats are off-limits for yours truly from now on, I'm afraid. Still, there's no sugar intake for just thinking about them, right?

Another thing I used to really like about the season was bringing home a real Christmas tree. There's just something about artificial trees that's clearly lacking, in contrast to the "real McCoys." I think maybe it's the scent of pine that would emanate from the authentic trees. Also, there was a lot of tradition with regard to the ornaments my family used to enjoy putting on the trees year after year. It was 1975, I believe, that there was a real tree in my household at the time.

Fortunately, there seems to be no shortage of Christmas music over the years. Just about all of the area radio stations play Christmas carols and hymns, at least a month in advance of Christmas Day itself. Thankfully, none of the organizations that seem to be "spooked" by anything Christian have been able to do anything about the lyrics of "Silent Night", "Noel" and others.

In Clarksburg and surrounding areas, as I imagine is the case most anywhere in America, there's also no shortage of the colorful Christmas lighting displays that residents use to decorate their homes. They do add that holiday feeling to people, especially when there's a full blanket of snow on the ground. ( ... As long as they keep the "freezy kid stuff" off the doggone highways and streets!)

Then, of course, there are the little things that some individuals see, hear, smell or taste that have that "something special" about them to the beholder. These things may mean not a thing to the other fellow, but they mean the world to you, and that's certainly good enough!

Some people say the Christmas pre-season is far too long for them and are wishing it would be all over before December even begins. But others feel that it couldn't be long enough if it were 13 months long.

Christmas shopping season can be a thing to either look forward to or to dread, depending upon your outlook. 'Guess I've been through both of those emotions at one time or another. But then I think of how enjoyable it is to give. After that, I think of other things that are "Christmassy" and, before you know it, I've got the Christmas spirit. Try it! You'll like it!

Have a great week!

Editor Bob Stealey can be reached by phone at 626-1438 or by e-mail at rstealey@exponent-telegram.com