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Bev's Burner
Some's Hot, Some's Not 

By B.K. Carter

"Bev Carter is the owner/publisher of the Fort Bend Star, winner of numerous state and national awards. She has been a voice of Fort Bend's largest circulated newspaper for 30 years."


Bah, humbug........Many years, off and on, I just hate Christmas. Iíll admit Iím a real Ebenezer Scrooge.

There are several reason why I dislike Christmas.

I already have my house decorated just like I like it. To Christmasize it, I have to put stuff away, first finding a place to store things during the holidays. Then I have to drag out all the Christmas decorations and scatter them around. Most of my decorations have not been replaced over the years, a testament to my feelings about Christmas, so my decorations are a little tattered, to put it mildly.

I have to get all that stuff out and scattered around in the full knowledge that in about three weeks, I am going to have to go through the same thing in reverse.

Also, my employees are distracted. They are busy shopping, planning trips, planning meals. And then the ungrateful people even want Christmas days off to celebrate with their families, even if Christmas is in the middle of the week.

Then, I have to worry about what to get them. I donít want to appear too stingy, but I also donít want to break the bank. What can I get that they will all like? Should I get them all the same? Thatís rather thoughtless, donít you think?

We gave up several years ago on putting up a Christmas tree at work. First, we really donít have the room. Second, everybody is tired of decorating after doing their own homes. And lastly, why have a tree when all we will have under it is a bunch of checks (from me in the good years)?

This year, to do something different, I suggested we draw names. Someone said, ďLetís not and say we did.Ē Hey, I agreed with them. They have presents to buy for their families and close friends. Who wants to try to find something great for $5, and who wants another $5 gift. We are too busy.

Some holidays we have a pot luck lunch at the office. Thatís pretty easy, but Christmas is so busy and involves cooking for so many events that cooking for the office is a chore. I usually get the meat, an easy assignment, but everybody else has to fix something special (because we are in competition for being the best cook!).

Something else that just bugs the heck out of me is the fact that my two grandsons, my son, and one of my best friends and colleague, Jean Sandlin, all celebrate birthdays in December. So not only do I have to find Christmas presents, I have to organize a search for perfect birthday gifts.

All kidding aside, my only brother died at my house last Christmas. As early as Halloween, I couldnít go to Garden Ridge and see all the Christmas decorations without having to leave in tears.

Iíve kind of got over that but Iím still so saddened that it will put a pall over our celebrations.

So I had really decided to skip all the decorations and cooking this year, leaving it up to my mean kids to do that.

However, this week my four-year-old grandson was visiting me and asked, ďBeBe, how come you donít have any Christmas at your house?Ē

Okay, that did it. I threw off the Scrooge mentality, started dragging tinsel out of the garage, and started fussing with the in-laws about when it was my turn to have the kids for Christmas.

This week I will engage in a flurry of gift buying and holiday meal planning. And when I see the light in those little fellowsí eyes, it will all seem worth it.

Donít look Mabel....I donít believe in burying my head in the sand, but lately that is just what I want to do. I donít want to hear about the bad economy. Thatís all the TV news is about. I honestly believe that talking about it all the time makes it a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Now this car bailout. A dirty little secret was that the government almost paid you to buy a big, olí car. If you were in business, you could buy a large SUV or pickup of a certain tonnage and you got a real advantage on your bottom line taxes. Ainít that a kick.

Now those congress people are getting up there on TV and excoriating automobile CEOs. Maybe they ought to be asking the IRS ďwhat the hey?Ē

I sometimes go all day without thinking about it. Then I turn on the TV news and my bubble pops. I feel like Scarlett OíHara. ďIíll just think about it tomorrow.í

Not to be foolish, but Iím just going to ignore it as much as I can, Thereís nothing I can do about it anyway.

P.S. I said something last week about companies taking Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Actually, individuals take Chapter 13; corporations take Chapter 11. They both allow for reorganization and eventually paying off debts.

I guess we will become more familiar with them in the coming year.


Contact bkcstar@earthlink.net, if you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column. Write a SIGNED letter to the editor with valid day time phone number--name can be withheld by request.

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   Last Update:  February 05, 2009