We all know how the story starts ...
Down in Who-ville
Liked Christmas a lot...
But the Grinch,
Who lived just North of Who-ville,
And we know how it ends ...
“And he puzzled three hours, ‘till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!
‘Maybe Christmas,’ he thought, ‘doesn’t come from a store.
‘Maybe Christmas... perhaps... means a little bit more!’”
The Grinch realizes that even without food and decorations and presents, the Whos still came together, held hands and sang on Christmas morning, despite his best efforts to take the holiday away.
Though the much-loved story, first published by Dr. Seuss in 1957, never once mentions Christ or his birth within its pages, it’s critical of the commercialization of Christmas and all but smacks you in the face with its moral about Christmas needing to be a celebration of the arrival of the Messiah.
The good doctor even admitted that he based the Grinch on himself after looking in the mirror one Dec. 26 and not liking what he saw. He wrote it, he said, to “rediscover something about Christmas I’d obviously lost.”
These days, maybe you could say the Grinch is still alive and well and trying to steal Christmas away ... In Texas rather than Whoville.
A new Texas law maintains that people may now — without fear of sparking a lawsuit — say “Merry Christmas,” “Happy Hanukkah” or “Happy holidays” at school and display religious and secular symbols like Christmas trees, menorahs and Nativity scenes in public places as long as more than one religion and a secular symbol are included.
Conservative activists say it protects Christmas and strengthens First Amendment rights of children. Liberal ones say it isn’t necessary and it’s a way to introduce Protestant religious themes in the classroom.
One elementary school seems to have misinterpreted it. Instead of including more than one representation of Christmas, a “Winter Party” seems to have been planned to include none so as not to offend anyone. The rules of the party were: no Christmas trees, no use of red or green, no use of items that could stain carpets and no references to religious holidays, including Christmas.
Talk about national attention. Another shot fired in the War on Christmas? Is there even a war? We took that question to our readers, who log on to www.timeswv.com to vote in our online poll.
Last week we asked, “A Texas law has rattled many who claim there is a ‘war on Christmas’ and that schools, stores, companies are trying to wipe away the true meaning. How do you feel?”
And here’s what you had to say:
• Christmas is everywhere. If there’s a war, it isn’t a successful one — 10.68 percent.
• Religious observations and symbols of Christmas are personal and something that rules and laws can’t take away — 40.78 percent.
• Of course there’s a war! If I hear “happy holidays” one more time ... — 48.54 percent.
Merry Christmas, y’all. This week, let’s talk about the gifts we wish we could give.
Log on. Vote. Email me or respond online.
We all know how the story starts ...
Message to ‘buckle up and park the phone’ is saving lives
A figure that we haven’t seen that much in recent years is the highway death toll for a given period.
Is the death toll up, down or just about the same as it was?
The West Virginia Southern Regional Highway Safety Program has announced there were 325 highway fatalities in 2013, the second-lowest number on record.
State native Burwell can ‘deliver results’ as Health and Human Services secretary
Sylvia Mathews Burwell might not be a name with which most people are immediately familiar.
For the past year, she has run the budget office under President Barack Obama.
Prior to that, she served as president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Development Program and later the Wal-Mart Foundation.
Marion scores well in recent health report but could do better
When it comes to area-wide studies, especially on health, there’s usually good news and bad news.
So was the recent report on the health of America’s counties released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently. The nationwide county study evaluated health outcomes and health factors, and ranked counties accordingly.
COLUMN: ‘Instant’ news not always reliable
That little word has a pretty big meaning. With origins that date back to the 15th century, it means urgent, current, immediate.
But think about how that word has developed over the past few decades.
Instant pudding. Instead of slaving over a hot stove for a few minutes, you can now pour cold milk and with a bit of stirring, instant pudding!
Decision to be an organ donor can save lives
Chelsea Clair watched as her father died waiting for a bone marrow transplant.
So when she met Kyle Froelich at a car show in 2009 and heard about his struggles to find a kidney that would match his unique needs, she never hesitated to offer hers to the man she just met.
Volunteers continue to have priceless impact on community
Chances are, you know someone who volunteers. Perhaps you’re a volunteer yourself.
Marion County is full of volunteers.
They read to our youth.
They assist nonprofit agencies.
They serve on boards and committees.
And in 2013, they spent a day picking up nearly 10 tons of garbage that had been tossed out on public property around Marion County.
Proposed school calendar lives up to letter and spirit of law
West Virginia state law requires that students be in a classroom for 180 days.
Strong Fairmont General Hospital badly needed to serve our region
Mere minutes often matter when it comes to emergency health care.
That’s why we need a strong Fairmont General Hospital.
When patients need the services of health-care professionals, having family and friends close at hand is often essential, and their presence may even lead to a better outcome.
COLUMN: Fairmont General Hospital vital part of community
There’s nothing better than holding a newborn baby. It gives you a little feeling that not only is everything right in the world, but this perfect little human represents hope of a future where things will be better than they are today.
I had that blessed opportunity to hold that hopeful future in my arms last week when I visited my dear friend Jen and her newborn son Tristan at Fairmont General Hospital.
Putting a cost on safety issue has been culprit in 13 traffic deaths
Would you believe that an item costing just 57 cents — less than the price of a can of pop — is being cited as the culprit in 13 traffic deaths?
A simple 57-cent item.
That’s how much fixing the fatal ignition switches that General Motors installed in new automobiles would have cost, and 13 lives would probably have been saved.
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- Message to ‘buckle up and park the phone’ is saving lives