Christmas wish list starts early

Published 11:48 pm Saturday, October 13, 2007

The first of October once meant the beginning of cooler weather and the start of the Halloween season.

The cooler weather arrived.

But something else arrived recently almost simultaneously with the Halloween décor — and almost all of it was colored red and green.

Email newsletter signup

That’s right, October — normally awash in black and orange — now seems to mean the beginning Christmas season, too.

When did that change happen?

Apparently some retail marketing bean counter must have realized that Halloween didn’t bring in much business beyond the dollars of the sweet-toothed.

So it only made sense to start pushing the “Happy Holidays” sales season. Wait. Scratch that, the “Merry Christ-mas” season.

Let’s hope this year America ends the ridiculous efforts of some retailers to be politically correct by removing the “Christ” from Christmas by saying “holiday” instead.

Let’s all remember the reason for the season, even if the season begins earlier and earlier each year.

But yours truly is not one to be discouraged by the fact that Christmas seems to be just around the corner again.

In fact, let’s embrace the concept and begin thinking of items to add to our community’s wish list.

4 Let’s hope Santa gets the potholes and buckled pavement on Martin Luther King Jr. Street in Natchez fixed.

While resurfacing the entire street would be great, that may not be economically feasible.

But fixing the obstacle course of buckled asphalt is long overdue. The street is one our community’s most traveled arteries, but the bumpy ride seems more like a back road in Fallujah, Iraq, than Natchez.

4 Santa, please bring us a stocking filled with some togetherness. Too often minor differences divide our community. If we focused our energy on finding common ground, nothing could stop our area.

4 Wouldn’t it be nice if the St. Nick could work some sign magic? In addition to getting the City of Natchez back on track with its sign ordinance — which seems to a good law, but one that isn’t enforced — what the man in red could bring is a sign for the Natchez Convention Center?

It seems silly that the public — whose tax dollars fund the facility — have to drive by and wonder what’s going on inside. The convention center is a great facility, but it lacks two key features — a sign and adequate parking.

4 Santa normally doesn’t delve into politics, but maybe he’ll make an exception this year and at least lobby to get two issues to the forefront of the upcoming City of Natchez elections.

First, the city needs to get serious about recreation. If it went to a vote, the majority of the citizens would probably say that hiring a $100,000 consultant isn’t necessary. We just need to poll support for funding a recreation facility and make it a reality.

Second, the man with the jelly belly needs to help lobby support for the sometimes boring, but important infrastructure changes needed in Natchez-Adams County.

The work needs to start in downtown, but should expand outward from there.

From smooth streets and navigable sidewalks to aesthetic things like removing overheard wiring and beautifying the streetscapes, all are important steps necessary to send visitors home with a great first impression of our community.

Even if we just got one or two of these things accomplished, wouldn’t this Christmas season be a happy one?

It would almost be worth having to skip over the Halloween candy and put up with the three months of Christmas decorations.

Kevin Cooper is publisher of The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3539 or