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12.03 ‘Tis the season… for Holiday Terrorists!

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December 2003 – Have you noticed the common trend lately that whenever someone speaks out against civil injustice they become penned as unpatriotic, anti-American or a terrorist? Using the term “terrorist” has become commonplace for everything nowadays, not just for those who are in disagreement with the war in Iraq, but with any other Bush policy as well, regardless of the civil liberties at stake.

The Boston Globe recently published an article regarding the long and drawn out issue of same-sex marriage. In it Sandy Rios, president of Concerned Women for America, criticized the “Republicans for being slow to politicize the issue and called on Bush to stand up to ‘moral terrorists’”. Moral terrorists? Now that is a new one. Sandy must be one of the many conservative activists who cannot accept that there are millions of Americans who may not share their beliefs, although they are citizens of equal stature. This does not in any way make them terrorists.

However, if this is the direction in which we are headed, I have a small request of my own to make. I suggest that the Bush administration step forward and save the American public from what I would now like to call “Holiday Decorating Terrorists”. There is no time to lose! With the holidays fast approaching it is high season for these terrorists to assault everyone’s sense of good taste with their immense supply of tacky holiday decorations. They are quick to inflate, drape, hang or mount anything they can find the moment it hits the shelves.

A few years ago “Christmas lights” were strictly for Christmas. Now we have them for every holiday on the calendar. To me, white Christmas lights resemble the twinkling beauty of ice crystals on a snowy, white Christmas. Never did the twinkling beauty of orange crystals glorify Halloween, or pastel crystals adorn trees on Easter. The decorating terrorists have also replaced genuine snowmen with enormous illuminating nylon snowmen filled with air.

“Thou shall not sell, purchase or display any holiday decoration sooner than two weeks prior, nor later than two weeks after any notable holiday” should be posted in all public facilities and parks.

I understand that many people decorate for the holidays for their children’s sake. However, consumers should know that just because they put it on the shelves it in no way means that we must purchase it. Nor does it mean that the minute we get it out of the bag, we need to display it. We all know the culprits. We all have a neighbor, co-worker or family member that is so anxious to get their new decorations displayed that they cannot wait for the holiday’s month to arrive.

Holiday Decorating Terrorists have a tendency to adorn their homes and yards months before the actual holiday. Drive around your town and see for yourself. I’ve seen yards with spooky graveyard scenes in September! Is Halloween really that exciting? Not only are these terrorists the first to get their decorations out, they are also the last to put them away. How often do you see a home decked with American flags for the fourth of July, while Christmas lights swing loosely from the roof line and a scarecrow leans mercifully by the front walk since being torn and tattered from a long New England winter?

It happens all too often and they must be stopped! Use caution though. These terrorists can be sneaky, and they may try to recruit others into the pre-holiday season decorating madness. I propose that anyone with a sense of good taste march to the State House and demand a constitutional amendment that would ban any individual from either purchasing, selling or displaying any form of holiday decorations without following a strict Holiday Decorating Commandment.

“Thou shall not sell, purchase or display any holiday decoration sooner than two weeks prior, nor later than two weeks after any notable holiday” should be posted in all public facilities and parks. The government must regulate when the retail industry may and may not sell their holiday decorations, issue guidelines on the type and quality of decorations being sold, and enforce sanctions against anyone who is found in violation of the commandment. Furthermore, anyone found to be a habitual violator of the Holiday Decorating Commandment should then be found in violation of the Homeland Security Act and be subject to intense background checks and public scrutiny.

In the name of America, morals, family and patriotism, please don’t be a Holiday Decorating Terrorist. It could lead to the breakdown of the American holiday as we know it.

Keith Fitzpatrick may be reached for comment at akconsulting@charter.net

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