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A Word to the Wise: Merry Christmas from this side of Folsom

By: Tom Rupp, Special to the Telegraph
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Tomorrow is the winter solstice, otherwise known as the first day of winter. Of course, around here “winter” is a relative term. We have a friend named Lois who lives in North Dakota. Now that’s a place where they endure true winters. In fact, she comes here to Folsom every winter, where it is more pleasant. I have little patience for anyone who complains about the winter weather here in the Sacramento area. All in all it is quite mild and enjoyable. If you want more typical winter weather, all you have to do is drive an hour or so east and experience all of the sub-freezing temperatures and snow that you can handle. Winter is here, so can Christmas be far behind? Once again we neglected to purchase a Christmas tree. There is no exact reason as to why this is so. However, our son bought us a living tree that stands about two feet tall. The idea is to plant the tree after Christmas. So Carol decorated it and there it sits on the floor, although it did not take long at all to decorate a glorified bush. Times are tough this holiday season but that’s OK. There is no rule that requires one to go deep into debt in order to satisfy some culturally commercial custom. On a recent walk around our block, I counted over 100 houses decorated with lights. Count ours in as one of them. And our neighborhood participates in the annual luminary program. It’s funny — when you do not have high demands, suddenly the little things satisfy you. Seeing the various light displays silently twinkling in the clear and cold night air is a free pleasure all in itself. And another thing — can we go ahead and stop feeling threatened by the fact that Christmas is not an entirely Christian holiday? It doesn’t diminish my faith one bit to acknowledge non-Christian historical influences behind the season. Here’s another rant — if you don’t want to say “Merry Christmas,” then don’t say it. Saying something else or nothing else is your American right to free speech and does not affect my faith one bit. Come on, Christians. This is not a litmus test by which we can add yet another thing to judge other people. And it doesn’t affect my ability right here and now to say clearly and purposefully, “merry Christmas.” Contact Tom Rupp at truppfolsom@yahoo.com.