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posted: 1/12/2013 5:00 AM

Why our house's Christmas lights are on so long

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If you saw me, you'd say I have no ability to postpone a milkshake or a good chateaubriand. All of us have something we're weak for and yet other pleasures we can say no to easily. I have no trouble postponing the celebration of Christmas to occur during the season of Christmastime -- including leaving our Christmas lights on until, say, Jan. 6 or a little later. Many Christian churches have -- to varying levels of suggestion -- a liturgical calendar which tends to end the celebration of Christmastime with the arrival of the kings 12 days after Christmas.

Everything prior to that is mere anticipation, known as Advent to many.

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A radio talk show had several call-ins saying we were lazies, buffoons, or social incompatibles -- those of us who left our lights on much after the 1st or 2nd, let alone until the 6th, or as the Catholic church does now -- until the Sunday after the 6th when more people can gather to celebrate it.

Many good souls feel Christmastime is from Thanksgiving to Christmas and maybe a few days later. Heck, the all-Christmas music stations stop their "anticipation" on the 25th. That's when our house is just getting started. Everything up until then is just -- well, shopping.

If we were, say, required to reduce fossil fuel consumption and made to keep our outdoor Christmas lights on for only 12 short days, I would have no problem postponing that pleasure and festivity to begin on Christmas itself. So, please don't disparage those of us who postpone those days and continue the celebrating into January. Now, just don't offer me a milkshake. I'll have a different opinion on that pleasure.

David Nield

Libertyville

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