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Dear Todd Parker - (11/11/15)

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(Editor's note: This piece originally ran in the November 12, 2014 edition of The Maine Edge. However, Mr. Parker feels very strongly about the sentiments expressed herein and wanted to share them again this year.)

Dear Todd Parker,

I have resigned myself to the fact that winter is coming. Having lived in Maine all of my life, I know that the onset of November means that I have a chilly, snow-filled six months ahead of me. I've made my peace with it. It's what I signed up for.

With the cold weather comes the holiday season, which is actually a time that I enjoy. There's something to be said for the benefits of celebrating with friends and family. But there's a limit. There has to be a limit. And that limit has been reached.

Last week, one of my neighbors turned on his Christmas lights.

We're still three weeks away from Thanksgiving! It's too soon! I already have to deal with the overwhelming Christmas creep in every single retail outlet known to man, but now I have to look out my kitchen window and see twinkle lights less than a week after Halloween! I'm not one for delicate sensibilities, but this REALLY bothers me.

I wish I could take the high road and be all 'live and let live,' but I'm infuriated every time I see those lights. Am I overreacting?

Too Soon in Orono

Dear Too Soon,

No, sir/madam you are not overreacting. A vital, albeit unwritten, social agreement is being violated here; your neighbor has thrown decorum and good taste to the wind. I assume you're smart enough not to risk neighborhood harmony by raising a ruckus you did write to me, after all so I will happily raise said ruckus on your behalf.

TOO. SOON.

We're already fighting a losing battle. The powers that be are continually pushing the Christmas season forward. December has been a lost cause for ages. Recent years have seen the season pushed into November by the consumer-driven feeding frenzy of Black Friday; we've even reached the point where Thanksgiving's sovereignty has been usurped by the promise of doorbuster deals.

Let me be clear I love Christmas. I do. Yes, the crass commercialization has taken a little of the roasted chestnut-scented wind out of my sails, but my affection for the holiday remains. However, I'm perfectly happy to enjoy Thanksgiving before digging out the jingle bells. We already devote a full twelfth of the year to anticipating and celebrating Christmas that should be enough.

It seems obvious that a line must be drawn in the sand, but the blissful idiocy and/or willful ignorance of people like your neighbor make it all the more difficult. Shall we simply sacrifice Thanksgiving to the ever-expanding Yuletide season?

Perhaps that sounds harsh. Perhaps it IS harsh. Maybe your neighbors are perfectly nice people who are just so doggone fired up for Christmas that the icicle lights simply can't wait. But even if that is the case, it doesn't change the fact that they are contributing to the problem. Nice or not, your neighbors are wrong.

I love the lights and decorations and crap as much as the next guy. By all means, go nuts more power to you. Go straight-up Griswold if you like. Light up the night. Just wait until after you've awakened from your turkey coma to do it.

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