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FROM THE PUBLISHER’S DESK: Kids make Christmas great; don’t ruin it

Posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2017 at 7:00 am


I have not had any problem getting into the Christmas spirit this year. But if I ever am fighting the Bah Humbug fever, I can always reverse course by reading the letters to Santa that are written by area students and published in the Manchester Times every year.

First of all – big kudos is in order to our entire staff here at the paper, as all of them make time to help with this project, spending hours typing letters for publication (most of that time trying to decipher suspect handwriting).

If you haven’t spent the time to read through these, make a point to find that special section inside this week’s (Dec. 20) print edition of the Times and enjoy. The innocence of children at Christmas is arguably one of the best parts of the season. And be sure to pay attention to the advertising businesses in that section – without them, community news services like this would simply not be possible. I encourage you to do business with them to show your appreciation.

While kids are everything that is right with Christmas. Adults are everything that is wrong with it.

By Josh Peterson, publisher

At our house we have participated in “Elf on the Shelf.” Quick description – it’s an “elf” that runs around and causes mischief at night while the kids are sleeping. They wake up each morning in December anxious so see what the elf has done. Simple enough, right? What is the harm in this?

Oh, don’t worry, some adult somewhere out there has found major problems with fun … I mean the elf.

Why is the elf a bad idea? Well – according to these “experts,” one major issue is this promotes children accepting a constant state of surveillance (because the elf is Santa’s eyes and ears).

That’s moronic. Shouldn’t we be raising our children to behave with character all of the time, regardless of who is watching or not watching? Get them a tablet and smartphone and you think someone isn’t watching them?

Another reason – kids might expect their other toys to come alive like the elf does.

I would hate to be the kids who are raised by the people who come up with this bunk. “Check your imagination at the door, children. No fun in this house.”

And perhaps the most idiotic reason of them all – the “elf” might forget to get into mischief one night, shattering the child’s spirit. First of all, I might ask what spirit a child with no imagination is supposed to have, anyway. Secondly, maybe we shouldn’t allow children to walk down steps either, because they might shatter their teeth.

Lousy adults ruin all the fun. Don’t be one of those people. Have a Merry Christmas – with Santa, the Elf and all the fun in the world.

After all, they are only little once.


–Josh Peterson is the publisher of the Manchester Times. He is a Tennessee Press Association award-winning writer and photographer. His column, “From the publisher’s desk” won TPA first-place honors for best personal humor column and best personal column. The National Newspaper Association named him “Top 30 Under 30” of newspaper professionals in 2016. He can be reached by email or by telephone at 931-728-7577 ext. 105. Follow him on Twitter @joshpeterson29