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Well, here we go.

It’s clear sailing into the headlong rush toward Christmas. For all of us who have been putting our fingers into the dike trying, not very successfully, in recent weeks to hold back the flood of Christmas, it’s time to surrender and get out of the way.

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No more excuses, no more saying it’s too early. Thanksgiving has passed. Halloween is long gone. December will be here next Friday. Counting today, there are 32 days left until Christmas.

That’s a goodly number of days, what with shopping, imbibing spirits, holiday partying and all, for the sprint to Christmas.

Today is Black Friday, changed as it may be with retailers releasing days and weeks early some of the mega sales once reserved for the day after Thanksgiving Day. At first, Black Friday was a very early in the morning, or a middle of the night, event, depending on one’s point of view. Then it crept toward midnight before bleeding into the late evening hours of Thanksgiving Day. Then, it was Thanksgiving afternoon and then, well you know the rest. It seems was a bit of pullback this year from so much Christmas shopping on Thanksgiving.

No matter, Black Friday is here and so is Christmas in downtown Bel Air, thanks to the Chesapeake Cancer Alliance.

The annual Festival of Trees has returned to the Bel Air Armory. Everything on display will be for sale with proceeds benefiting Cancer LifeNet at the Patricia D. and M. Scot Kaufman Cancer Center. Lst year’s event raised $57,000. This year’s goal is $55,000.

Tomorrow is Small Business Saturday and we encourage everyone to support all of our small businesses.

Then Monday is Cyber Monday, when arguably people do much of their Christmas shopping online. Where that day’s sales rank compared to the rest of the year has been the subject of much debate.

Needless to say, whether it’s the busiest online shopping day of the year, or even the busiest online shopping day of the Christmas season, is irrelevant. What’s relevant, however, is doors have flung open and many, many people are in full shopping mode that began in earnest as soon as the Thanksgiving dinner plates had been washed and put away.

That means It’s ok to keep Hallmark, and its endless Christmas movies, on your TV. And it’s ok to keep the 24-hour Christmas music stations on your radio. And it’s ok, finally, in the eyes and minds of all the traditionalists who want to not only keep Christ in Christmas, but also to keep Christmas in its proper place on the calendar to embrace this biggest of holidays.

Whether one’s Christmas celebration is religious, secular or both, it’s finally time to get into the full holiday mode.

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