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“Oh, about two weeks,” said a guard.
Determined to find this war on Christmas, I went to the line where people waited for Palin, who suggests in the book that we need to return to the “traditions and true meaning” of the holiday.
There was a long list of “guidelines” for her visit. No “personalized” signatures. No blankets or chairs. No tampering with wristbands. No leaving the line. No photos.
The only pictures allowed would be the ones taken by Palin’s photographer, which people could then buy for $15.99 and $29.99, you know, in the true spirit of the season.
Then I turned around and saw it. A store perhaps 20 feet away. In the window was a sign that said Callister’s Christmas.
The store was packed with Christmas angels and Christmas wreaths and Christmas stars and Christmas crosses and even a manger, complete with Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus.
Someone had obviously forgotten to tell the PC police to close this place down. Looking out from Callister’s to the rotunda, you could see the line growing of the gullible to buy a cynical book that tries to scare people into thinking Christmas is being stolen from them.
Just then Santa walked by on a break from his chair down the hall. I asked him if he thought Christmas would ever go away.
“I hope not,” said Santa. “Too many good kids.”
I told him about Palin’s allegations of a war on Christmas, and then pointed to Callister’s.
“Talk about irony,” said Santa as he walked away.
I felt suddenly filled with the spirit. Not only was Christmas permeating every corner of the mall, I had found a Santa who understood irony.
As I left the mall, a Salvation Army bell ringer was changing kettles because her first one was full. Shoppers were giving eagerly to people they didn’t know, people who needed a helping hand, the kind of people mocked by Palin.
As I passed, the bell ringer looked me square in the eye. “Merry Christmas,” she said.
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