There's no getting around the commercialism of Christmas.
Let's face it, that commercialism is counted on by not just retailers, but economists trying to get a handle on the overall economic health of the nation.
And, this year, there are indications that Black Friday is turning into Black Week, with some major national retailers planning to beat the starting gun on the craziness that has for several years started at the witching hour of Thanksgiving.
Nevertheless, when Warren Main Street announced that this year's Christmas Parade downtown would be focused on providing a venue for the local Salvation Army's Christmas giving campaign, we were heartened.
Yes, Virginia, there is more to Christmas than fighting through the chaos of a big box under siege.
When parade-goers assemble in downtown Warren to watch the traditional process, they will be reminded that many among them and many who are unseen would have virtually nothing for Christmas if not for the contributions made to the Salvation Army through its Red Kettle campaign each holiday season.
The need is tremendous, particularly as the economy continues to struggle to recover from the worst and longest recession since the Great Depression. Those of us who are lucky enough to provide a Christmas dinner and some gifts for our children from our own income should be reminded that we are a compassionate community that is part of a compassionate society.
We salute Warren Main Street, which rightfully takes its cues from downtown merchants and businesses, for making giving as much a part of the Christmas season as buying.