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By Jeremy Schiffres, Daily and Sunday Freeman, Kingston, N.Y.

Friday, December 26, 2008

'Twas the blog after Christmas ...

… and all through my head:

* Why, in reporting this holiday season’s dismal retail sales numbers, do national media outlets keep repeating the lie that a few bad winter storms were partly to blame for the downturn? The average American goes into the holiday season with a set shopping list and buys the items on that list before Christmas. The fact that an ice storm in the Northeast or a snowstorm in Chicago may delay some of those purchases by a day or two has no bearing on overall sales. Unless the entire United States is rendered motionless by a storm that starts at Thanksgiving and ends at Christmas, the weather will never, ever play a role in holiday retail sales volume.

* A guy dressed as Santa Claus kills eight people in Southern California on Christmas Day, and the New York Post doesn't use “Bad Santa” as its front-page headline? I feel cheated.

* A group of Revolutionary War re-enactors that crosses the Delaware River by boat each Christmas Day to commemorate George Washington’s historic crossing on Dec. 25, 1776, canceled this year’s event on Thursday because of strong winds and fast currents. (The re-enactors walked across a nearby bridge instead.) Seriously? Perhaps these wimps should do a little research on what the weather was like when Washington and his men made the actual trip 232 years ago en route to surprising the Hessian forces at Trenton. If General George had let inclement conditions – which included hail, sleet and strong winds, not to mention ice floes in the river – stop him, we probably all would be speaking with British accents today. Re-enactors? Hardly. More like revisionists.



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