This month, “Coach’s Corner” travels into dangerous territory that will no doubt reduce my popularity with the 12-and-under crowd. Yet, due to its importance, I persist. The risky topic of December’s column is making Christmas, and the entire holiday season, like the Olympics by celebrating them every four years instead of every year.
Now, before I present my clearly lost and hopeless case — and before you suggest renaming the column “Grinch’s Corner” — let me first state that I love the holiday season. I truly do.
The decorations, the family gatherings, Christmas music, the cheerful holiday spirit, the gift giving, office parties and all the trimmings are splendid. Indeed, some of my greatest memories as a child were of Christmas mornings, coming down the stairs and seeing all the presents under the tree. Those memories still give me goosebumps.
So, no: it is not due to a dislike of the holidays that I suggest the once-every-four-year “Olympic” idea. It is more the sad reality that, as you get older and time goes by faster, the holiday season simply comes too often.
This month, our beautiful New Eastside will be all decked out in holiday regalia. The Santa sightings and the Mag Mile shops and the condo parties will deliver some holiday cheer, but, for many of us, the relentless “here it comes again” feeling will pervade.
How special it would be — with the anticipation and the wait of four long years — when Christmas season finally arrives. We would really be celebrating! Buying gifts, sending cards, attending parties, cooking, and gathering with the family would be truly special.
Anyone with me here? Christmas once every four years instead of every year? Anyone?
Maybe I will present this to our local alderman. That is, if I can get past the legion of angry 12-and-under protestors.
Jon Cohn is a native Chicagoan. He has worked as a high school coach, youth coach, recreational director and sports official. He has been a radio and TV sports announcer for many years.
Besides the New Eastside News, Cohn writes a weekly sports column for a suburban paper and has completed his first book, Stuff, People Might Want To Know (From Someone Who Really Shouldn’t Be Writing A Book).
— Jon Cohn