The News Courier in Athens, Alabama


December 23, 2013

Santa militarized? Let's lighten up


Reading about some “children's advocates”claiming that Santa is being“militarized” because he's escorted by Canadian and U.S. fighter jets while flying to deliver his toys to good girls and boys triggered a few emotions.

On Christmas Eve, before the advent of radar on television, we used to listen to radio reports of Santa flying in from the North Pole.

There was a radio on the counter in our kitchen and we would sit at the table, sipping hot chocolate and eating fresh-baked cookies that would be left for Santa.

If we were lucky, though, and it had snowed, we would enjoy homemade snow cream that Mom had made.

An announcer for the radio station — WDEL out of Wilmington, Del. — would break in to the programming (usually Christmas music, her favorites were Brenda Lee's “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” and Bobby Helms’ “Jingle Bell Rock”) with updates. We lived across the Delaware River from Wilmington so when he said NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) radar showed Santa was approaching, we knew it was time to go to bed.

We didn't think anything about the fighter escort except it was like an honor guard for Santa.

And, by the way, regarding these so-called “advocates,” what children are they advocates for and who appointed them?

My kids have done quite well, thank you, and I believe so have millions of us over the years — before we realized we didn't have “advocates.”

Granted, there are situations where similar groups and associations are needed. Such as Child Advocacy Centers to care for child victims and church-based groups and nonprofit organizations for needy children.

But, come on. Lighten up a little.

Or I'll have to get my G.I. Joes and show you what militarized is really about.

Budd McLaughlin is managing editor of The News Courier.


Text Only


Which foreign crisis is the biggest threat to the security of the United States?

None of the above
     View Results
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee