Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Christmas Wrap

Today, several issues left over from the holiday season...

For the first time in many, many years, I didn't work Christmas morning or New Year's Eve/morning.  Christmas isn't Christmas any more.  It's just another night filled with mayhem, violence and crime.  Sorry for the cynicism.  The same goes for the start of the new year, but throw in rampant alcohol abuse and rowdyism.  I needed a break this year.

Having said all that, I tried to avoid being the "let's get the holidays over with already" guy.  While I was eager to move things along, I, for the most part, kept my mouth shut.

The shopping thing was totally out of hand this year.  People shop on Thanksgiving.  The toothpaste is out of that tube, and it's not going back.  On a positive note, some small business owners tell me they had an awesome Small Business Saturday in November.

Bryant Gumbel and Jane Pauley guest anchored the Today show on NBC 12/30.  Pauley was a lttle tentative.  Gumbel was as sharp as ever.  I hope Matt Lauer learned something.

I spent a few mornings in downtown Scranton just before and after Christmas.  Other than Courthouse Square and the immediate area, I found it to be a dark and dreary place.  Lackawanna and Wyoming Avenues were especially dark.  No Christmas cheer.  None.

Outside of First Night Scranton, there really aren't a lot of community activities on New Year's Eve in the metro area.  If you're not in to the bar scene, and you want to avoid Scranton, you're out of luck.  Kudos to the small communities like Tamaqua who know how to have a little home town fun.  I'd like to see Dunmore's Buck Drop return.  Drop a crown in Olyphant, the Queen City.  Carbondale is big enough for a little celebration in the park

Happy New Year to the woman who got really snippy with me over the phone on New Year's Eve because we weren't forecasting snowfall totals yet.  I agree with the station's philosophy:  go with the numbers when you are reasonably sure.  To all those predictors of two feet, how did that work out for you?

There was a funny moment on New Year's Eve morning.  Photographer Corey and I were kicking around story ideas.  We were at the gas station and looked around.  We were surrounded by cars with out of state license plates, so a travel story, it was.  We found a few people with interesting stories, racing the clock to get home by midnight.  I hope they all made it safely.

Can we avoid the Russian Christmas, Orthodox Christmas, Julian calendar Christmas argument this year?  People call it different things.  They're all OK in my book.  No one is trying to insult you or your heritage.

Thanks to the viewer who sent me an awesome railroad calendar.  It's outstanding.  All the Christmas and birthday cards were cool, too.