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atticNow that Thanksgiving is over, I am able to sit back and recoup from the activity. I'm not sure about anybody else, but a holiday such as Thanksgiving takes a lot out of me. Of course, it puts a lot in me, but that's another story.

The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and Yours Truly were catching our breath right after our Thanksgiving fiesta. I was enjoying the quiet moment when my wife said to me, "Do you know what time it is?"

I glanced at my wrist watch and said, "It's 8:30 right on the dot."

My wife threw one of those looks at me I was tempted not to catch and said, "That's not what I mean, and you know it."

This is the problem I have. My wife assumes I know exactly what she's talking about every time she speaks. To be quite honest, it is a rare day when Yours Truly knows exactly what the wife is talking about whenever she speaks. This might be the reason I get into a little bit of trouble with her every now and then.

She then continued. "What I mean is, do you know what time it is now?"

I was tempted to say, "It's 8:32," but I learned my lesson, so I casually asked, "No, what time is it?"

She sighed very deeply and said, "It's time to get the Christmas decorations down out of the attic and decorate our house for Christmas."

Upon hearing those words, I immediately froze in my chair. I was hoping this year there would be an appreciative pause between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I must say I'm quite a fan of both holidays and all they represent. However, I certainly would like to get over one before I get into the other.

"You'll have to go up to the attic and bring down all of our Christmas decoration boxes."

I do not relish this job. I go into the attic twice a year; once to bring the Christmas decorations down, and once to take them back when Christmas is over. If anybody were to seek my opinion about this whole matter, I would immediately opine that twice a year is two times too many for me.

I don't like the attic. It is dark and spooky up there. I'm not quite sure who or what inhabits the attic, but I hear some awfully strange noises coming from there on a regular basis, especially in the middle of the night. I'm not suggesting a ghost may be living in our attic, but it hasn't been proven otherwise.

I do not believe in ghosts, but a person cannot be too careful these days.

If I could have a wish for this time of the year, I think it would be that the next holiday should not begin before the last holiday has sufficiently worn off. I'm not sure if it is my age or what, but these holidays are coming fast and furious. No sooner do you get into the spirit of one holiday when the next holiday is knocking at your door.

I do not think this is too unreasonable a wish. After all, there is a period of three weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, which I think should be used rather wisely.

Even around our Thanksgiving Day table, everybody was chattering about what they were looking forward to for Christmas. Everybody seemed to be playing old St. Nick and checking his or her Christmas list twice.

I remember as a child we would set up the Christmas tree and all of the decorations on Christmas Eve. Then, New Year's Day it would all be packed away for another year. That gave us approximately one week to enjoy the Christmas decorations.

I'm almost at the point of saying, Happy Holiday, for the simple reason I'm not quite sure which holiday we are celebrating. Is it Thanksgiving? Or, maybe it's Christmas? Or, then again, it may be New Year's Day. Whoever designed these holidays so closely together needs to rethink the strategy here.

Another wish I might have. Holidays should not be an excuse to go shopping. Somebody should pass some kind of congressional bill stating that on holidays people should stay at home. Holidays should be a family affair. It should not be a contest to see who can spend the most money on one day. I know I stand alone on this issue, but I do not mind. It’s my opinion and I’ll keep it to myself, thank you.

The day after Thanksgiving, I heard somebody on the radio singing, "We wish you a Merry Christmas." I don't mind being wished a Merry Christmas, but I sure do wish they would wait until Christmas to wish me such pleasantries.

Even Jesus recognized the importance of resting. "And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.” (Mark 6:31 KJV).

Then I heard a certain store in our community was not permitting any of their employees to say to any customer, "Merry Christmas." To which I, seeing the challenge before me, promptly went to that store, not to buy anything, but to wish everybody I saw "Merry Christmas." After all, under such circumstances, you can’t start too soon to wish people Merry Christmas.

The Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The church web site is www.whatafellowship.com.

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