I recently received a bit of a scare, and thought that I may have missed my deadline for writing this column.

I turned on the radio the other day and, since I don’t have a satellite radio service, could find nothing but Christmas carols to listen to.

I immediately ran to the window, hoping for a white Christmas, but there was no snow on the ground. It was then I remembered the turkey I ate the day before, on Thanksgiving.

First, I don’t have anything against Christmas. In fact, I look forward to it each year. What I don’t understand, however, are some of the traditions associated with Christmas.

I have never understood, and still don’t understand, what in the world is so good about going shopping on the day after Thanksgiving. What’s the point of leaving at 4:30 a.m. to stand in line with thousands of other people, all waiting to bombard the poor employees of department stores and malls?

Personally, I’m willing to pass up a cheesy sale and wait a week so I don’t have to put up with huge crowds.

In a week, stores all have time to restock, and several even continue their sales. Waiting a week to shop also buys a little more time to sleep in on that Friday after Thanksgiving.

Speaking of the Friday after Thanksgiving, is it now required that all Christmas lights be put up by the time the sun goes down on this day?

I know my family isn’t the only family that has this tradition. Though I wasn’t around to see if it got done this year, in the past it seemed that, whether it was raining, sleeting, snowing, or just a stiff north wind, I was on the roof putting lights up.

I don’t know how many people I saw on their roofs as I drove around on the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Personally I think that, in Kansas, the chances of getting a nice, calm, sunny day shortly after Thanksgiving is pretty good, but then again, that’s just me.

Oddly enough, I was informed that this year, our family’s lights may be on the ground only.

Why do I have a feeling that, had I not had a basketball team playing in Dodge City to attend to on that day, that I probably would have been on our roof putting lights up?

Another holiday tradition I don’t understand is one associated more with Thanksgiving than Christmas.

I hope I don’t offend any cranberry lovers by this remark, but seriously, what is the significance of cranberry sauce-especially that jelly-like stuff that comes in a can at a Thanksgiving feast?

In my opinion, cranberry sauce ruins an otherwise perfectly good Thanksgiving menu!

When you have a nice juicy turkey or ham accompanied by stuffing and sweet potatoes and whatever green-bean casserole may be there, why ruin an appetite with a blob of cranberry sauce?

Pardon me if I don’t understand. Maybe it’s one of those generational things where my generation just wasn’t brought up the right way or something. But if you ask me, cranberry sauce has no place at a Thanksgiving meal.

Again, I’m sorry if I rained on anybody’s parade.

Keeping with what seems to have become a tradition for me lately, I’ll give you a bit of an update on myself since I don’t see a lot of Marion County people on a day-to-day basis.

Our school paper, for which I am editor-in-chief, has recently gone on-line. I hope I don’t get in trouble for advertising, but for those interested, our Web address is www.prattccbeavertale.com

Our online editor has been sick recently, but he should have things up and running by the time you read this. It’s a new site, so it’s still under construction, but feel free to check out our paper, sign our guest book, and take a look at the other work I do on a daily basis.

Hopefully, the smell of basketball season is in the air in the Marion County area. As I understand it, games begin later this week.

It’s a great time of year, and I’m led to believe that a couple area teams have a few reasons to be excited.

Best of luck to all athletes this winter sports season. Whether you’re a Trojan, Cougar, Bluebird, Eagle or Warrior, take pride in representing the school whose name is written on your chest.

Happy holidays!

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