Has the Grinch finally stolen Christmas?

I may have written about the following topic in a past holiday column but I happen to think it is a subject well worth revisiting. Just call this one my Ghost of Christmas Past.

Has the Grinch finally stolen Christmas?

I may have written about the following topic in a past holiday column but I happen to think it is a subject well worth revisiting. Just call this one my Ghost of Christmas Past.

As I have stated before, I begin to get into the holiday spirit right around Thanksgiving. For 60 plus years it has been one of my favorite holiday traditions to watch Macy's annual Thanksgiving Day parade. It preceded the annual Green Bay Packers-Detroit Lions clash. Somewhere in between I managed to sandwich in all that turkey and dressing.

Over the years there has been a subtle change in the Macy's parade. There is almost no mention of Christmas and this past year there was not one single traditional Christmas song performed. I miss it.

Television commercials emphasize the "Holiday Season" rather than calling it Christmas. Seldom do you receive "Merry Christmas" greetings from store employees. I heard "Joy to the World" sung as part of a Christmas commercial. However, it was not "Joy to the world, the Lord is come," but the Three Dog Night version. That song ranks as one of my all-time favorite songs but it hasn't one single thing to do with the holiday season.

There is no Biblical evidence to prove that Dec. 25 is the birthday of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. However, the day is set aside each year to remember that important birth.

He is the spirit of the holiday and its inspiration. It's the love of Jesus that prompts so much sharing that occurs in our country and around the world – not only at Christmastime but all year long.

Let me assure you that the spirit of Christmas is still alive and well and in the hearts of most Americans. However, today it seems like you have to hunt for it. For those who like warm milk and Christmas candy there is the Hallmark Channel. Its loaded with feel good Christmas movies from mid- November until the first of the year. If you miss them then, try the channel's "Christmas in July" programming.

Christmas parades still seem to be in vogue among young and old alike as evidenced by the Helena-West Helena and Marvell parades held this past weekend.

Some traditions seem to be fading away slowly but surely. The number of Christmas cards sent and received has dwindled dramatically since my dad's days at the post office. We used to receive so many that Mom literally decked the walls and halls with those cards.

Fewer and fewer homes get dressed up for the holidays. I'll take this opportunity to praise the city for promoting the rebirth of house decorating for Christmas with its decoration contest.

Sadly, charitable efforts also seem to be on the decline but there's still the college's Angel Tree Project and the Department of Children and Family Service's Foster Children Christmas that I am aware of. I am sure there are many others out there that simply have shunned the media spotlight.

Meanwhile, I plan to have a "Holly Jolly Christmas." It is always nice to sit back, sip a little hot chocolate and nibble on some Christmas fudge. I'll also put the Chicago Christmas CDs on the stereo. When that's over I'll enjoy "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reign Deer" and the 60th viewing of "A Christmas Carol."

There are not going to be any "bah humbugs" coming from these lips.

Go ahead let the Grinch try to steal Christmas. He will find out like he did from the people of Whoville that Christmas reigns in the heart. Its message rings church bells and not cash registers.