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PAUL W. SMITH

What you want for holidays can't be bought

Paul W. Smith

"Outta' My Mind on a Saturday Moanin'"

'Twas the Saturday before Christmas and all through the mall ... Well, you can add your own experience here!

But in the words of Dr. Seuss, "Christmas doesn't come from a store, maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more. …"

Certainly as we grow older, our Christmas list gets smaller and we realize the things we really want for the holidays can't be bought.

That aside, I still like that great quote from the late lovable curmudgeon Andy Rooney, who once said, "One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas Day. Don't clean it up too quickly."

■I thought we had come so far! And maybe we have.

When my fabulous newsman (and WJR news director) Dick Haefner told us about his visit to a medical facility and the greeting at the reception desk of Happy Holidays to his Merry Christmas, he found that the woman with the generic greeting would have preferred a more specific one but believed they were "not allowed."

Upon a little checking, we could find no such rule, and that Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah were not banned, but you can certainly understand how someone might think that was the case, and might err on the side of extra caution. (Like I said on the air, I don't know about you, but I don't want to be treated for an illness at an institution where God is not welcome!)

And when Lansing was in the spotlight for a constitutionally unavoidable approval of a request to put up a satanic display (for the holidays ???), people immediately responded, "They can have devil worship but we can't have a Nativity scene"?

That also turned out to not be the case.

The lesson?

Please feel free to celebrate whatever you choose to celebrate, but don't try to tell us we can't do the same.

Merry Christmas!

Paul W. Smith is host of "The Paul W. Smith Show" on WJR-AM (760) from 5:30-9 a.m. Monday-Friday.