You know, everything has its place.

They set up the giant Christmas tree in my city’s downtown this weekend.

That wasn’t the first premature dose of holiday spirit I’ve endured over the last couple of weeks. Last Thursday, one of our local radio stations began its 24/7 rotation of Christmas music. A nearby mall  hung up decorations in the parking lot almost two weeks ago, preparing for a pre-Black Friday sale. And a couple of neighbors lit up their houses over the weekend.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a Grinch and my friends don’t call me Ebeneezer. In fact, I love Christmas. It’s my favorite holiday. I revel in the music. I deck the halls at my home with gusto. I look forward to the smells and and tastes of Christmas baking. Adding to the significance of the season, I’m a devout Christian and the spiritual aspect of Christmas holds deep meaning for me and my family.

But it’s too early.

We’ve barely packed away our ghosts, ghouls and goblins. We’ve not even thawed out the Turkey. Thanks remains to be given. I just can’t get into the Christmas spirit until after Thanksgiving.

I consider Christmas the most wonderful season of the year. But like everything, it has its place and time. And when yanked from its proper spot in the calendar, it turns into something it was never meant to be.

As I was lamenting the early arrival of the Christmas season, I noticed some parallels to the early foisting of Christmas on society and the overreach of the federal government.

You see, I am not against the federal government. It has its place and its role, specifically and brilliantly defined by the Constitution. When the federal government limits itself to its prescribed powers, when it operates within its proper sphere and fulfills its defined roles, it serves and important and much needed function. But when it begins to creep beyond its place, it becomes at best an annoyance, and at worst – downright nefarious.

I don’t want to eliminate Christmas. I want to celebrate it within its proper time and place.

I don’t want to do away with the federal government. But I do insist that it stay within its Constitutional limits –  every issue, every time, no exceptions, no excuses.

You see, everything has its place.

Mike Maharrey

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