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Opening Remarks

Dispatches from Our War (on Christmas) Correspondent

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Look what Editor Manson found under his Christmas tree this year!

Nov. 24, 2018. Santa Claus just pulled up in his sleigh near the Destin Harbor. No, wait. It’s a big red Toyota truck. I wonder if they’ll waive the parking fees for him.


He does not look at all like Kurt Russell, which reminds me I have to watch that Netflix Christmas movie at some point. There’s a platoon of opposing forces approaching Mr. Claus, but he doesn’t look at all worried. #SantaStrong


Correction. It’s a group of small children, and they’re bombarding Santa Claus with their wish lists. No sign of any anti-Christmas action here. I’m gonna go get myself a belt.


Nov. 28, 2018. I’m watching Editor Manson’s front porch, trying to stay out of the Ring device’s camera range… eating (another) leftover turkey sandwich.


Okay, the UPS driver and the postman—both pro-Christmas allies in the war—are approaching the porch with what appears to be a lot of boxes from Amazon addressed to Paula Hilton.


UPS guy just rang the doorbell. It’s almost 10 AM, so Manson’s probably not out of bed yet.


Good lord, I’m hearing a lot of—sounds like explosions coming from the house. Didn’t think Manson was anti-Christmas, but…


No. Just the dogs barking. I’ve met Manson’s dogs, and I never suspected they’d defect to the other side. The door’s opening. The two big dogs are darting onto the porch right now.


Postman is running to his mail truck. He’s clearly terrified. Oh, my God, this is going to be brutal. Photos and video to follow…


Correction. The big dogs are jumping up and licking the UPS guy. UPS guy is reaching into his pocket for…a weapon? Nope, couple of dog treats. Nothing to see here, besides Editor Manson drinking what looks to be a cup of coffee, but who knows with that guy.


I’m gonna ditch this turkey sandwich and head over to TOPS Hamburgers.


Dec. 1, 2018. It’s the first day of December, and it feels like 80 degrees outside. Not sure if Mother Nature is working with the opposing forces, but I’m ready to sneak out of the combat zone and take a dip in the pool.


Dec. 5. Taking a day off from the front. Watching A Charlie Brown Christmas with the kids. Not my kids, just some younguns that wandered over from who knows where. They like the show. Not seeing any signs of racism that nobody managed to spot in 50 years of network broadcasts.


Dec. 6. Watching the holiday shoppers at the K-Mart in Fort Walton Beach. Yes, they still have a K-Mart over here. No sign of the enemy, but you never can tell with these Christmas haters. In the interest of good journalism, trying to stay fair and balanced, but I slip up and say “Merry Christmas” to a lady that passes my way.


She pauses. Gives me a look. I’m shaking in my flip-flops—yes, it’s still unseasonably warm for this time of year… and she says, “Merry Christmas to you!”


War’s over. Happy New Year!

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