Has anyone noticed how shoddy the Christmas decorations look on the streets of downtown. Let me be the first to say, I believe that the spirit of Christmas is not about the amount of lights we put out on our streets or how many gifts we can fit under our trees. The Christmas season is a time to be with family and friends and share goodwill with people of all faiths and cultures. So for the city employees who worked hard to get all the wreaths up on the light posts downtown, I appreciate the gesture, please take this post as constructive criticism. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to where and which posts the wreaths are hung. You can see them on two or three posts in a row, then one post doesn't have one. Some wreaths are lit up, others are dark. On some, neither the wreath lights nor the street lamp work. Flags are missing under some of them. We have these nice, new, old fashioned lamp posts and we are putting our old decorations on them. If we want people to shop and eat downtown, we have to make sure that our decorations look really good and classy. So what is really happening in Salem? What's happening all over the country since 9-11, as big box retailers market their plastic Christmas trees as "Family Trees" and company parties are now "Holiday" parties? It can only mean one thing, the "War on Christmas" has finally spread to our little city. Even though our intelligence was wrong about the existence of Santa Clause, at the time, everyone believed it to be true. I still think it's the right move to celebrate the holiday even if there is no direct link between Santa Clause and Jesus. It's fair to say that we made some mistakes along the way, the in-laws didn't greet us with flowers and candy as we expected and we forgot to keep the receipts for some of the gifts. Looking at the condition of our decorations downtown our enemy is not in it's final throes and this is a battle that we will pass on to future bloggers and pundits. But we must continue to fight and decorate at whatever the cost, even if that means maxing out our credit cards. I believe there is a way we can secure Christmas this year and give the city council enough breathing room to come up with a political solution to our wreath dilemma. We need a surge in power to the darkened wreaths and lamp posts. When people can see as they walk the streets downtown, they will be in a better mood and will contribute more money to the economy. Some people might say that we should cut and run, take down the wreaths, give them to Keizer. If we give up now, the enemy will follow us home and pass ordinances prohibiting decorations on our own houses and lawns. Maybe they will disguise their true intentions by saying that it's for energy saving, combat global warming. So it's vital to our city's interests to keep the wreaths up and in good working order because I'd rather fight the "War on Christmas" over there, then fight it over here.