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Saturday essay: A familiar voice

Halloween’s passing broke open the floodgates of Christmas that, once upon a midnight clear, none dared breach until Santa Claus brought up the rear of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

And while we all can pine for the “good old days” of Christmastime being a limited run, it is nonetheless refreshing to be able to think out loud, without a rotten-pumpkin pummeling, about how to decorate the house for Christmas.

After all, most private “light-up nights” come not long after the dogs have dragged the turkey carcass through the house after someone forgot to put up the gate between the kitchen and dining room. That leaves a mere three weeks to plan.

Abode McNickle will have a different look this Christmas, given the rehabilitated porch with no railing, a new trellis and a different color scheme. And sans any ornery decision to build that long-threatened mechanical waving Jesus with “Keep Christ in Christmas” in neon above it, the outdoor decor, perhaps shocking the neighbors, will be tasteful.

There will be lots of greenery, of course; the colored lights will be small and subdued, as per usual. But replacing the plastic blow mold snowman and penguin will be two sweet carolers (circa 1960) standing on either side of a street lamp.

And, listening very carefully, surely the minds of passers-by will hear a familiar voice — their own — singing in some long-ago Christmas pageant.

— Colin McNickle


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