Thursday, December 8, 2005

Close to Nowhere
By Linda Jones


• I have so many soapboxes to climb on this week that I don’t know if I can choose a particular one.

I think the most irritating problem is political correctness. I’m sorry, I’m never going to be politically correct.

And I’m never going to say “a popular holiday figure” — “holiday tree,” etc. In fact, I still say “Merry Christmas!”

I fully comprehend the fact that many other religions and factions don’t celebrate Christmas. If I go to one of their gatherings, I am not going to demand that they bow to my practices.

If they come to my church or home, they also don’t have to bow to mine, but while they’re there, they do have to at least be quiet.

I think my right to celebrate Christmas is as important as someone else’s right not to!

My friend Jane is more upset about this than I am. She’s planning on writing letters to several editors on this topic, but wants to calm down somewhat first.

Really, come on. “Popular holiday figure?” I’m not standing in line for hours with my granddaughters for them to sit on a “popular holiday figure’s” lap to tell him their dreams and secrets.

And I’m certainly not decorating a “holiday tree” for hours and keeping the new puppy from pulling it over for weeks. My tree is a Christmas tree.

And I’m celebrating Christmas this year and I will next year and the year after.

Season’s Greetings
Happy Hanukkah
Merry Christmas!
16 shopping days left

• My favorite soapbox topic is drunk driving. With the holidays right on top of us, please, don’t drink and drive.

I don’t care if you drink yourself silly at a Christmas or New Year’s party. I really don’t. What I want is for you to not drive after you’ve over-indulged. Spend the night wherever you are; use a designated driver; call a taxi or a friend.

And if you’re a teenager and you’ve been drinking, please don’t be afraid to call your parents and ask for a ride home.

Speaking as a parent and grandparent, I would much rather drive anywhere, at any time of the day or night to pick you up, than get a phone call saying you’ve been in an accident.

Drunk driving is a very personal issue for me. One of my closest friends lost a pregnant sister to a drunk driver.

Dave Brown, a Channel 5 weatherman, lost a daughter, a grandchild and an unborn grandchild to a drunk driver.

My former son-in-law lost his father on his second birthday — Jan. 1 — in a drunk driving accident. In this instance, both drivers had been drinking.

Please, don’t drink and drive! If you won’t do it for me, do it for your mother — or your children.

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