It's all about the Christmas lights

2013-12-05T00:00:00Z It's all about the Christmas lightsGeorge Grenchik Times Columnist
December 05, 2013 12:00 am  • 

I hope I haven’t given up the fight, but I caved early this year.

Christmas is a grand feast day, holiday, holy day. But much of the secular Holiday Season is troublesome to me, especially the near iconic status bestowed on that most onerous, contrived “holiday”, Black Friday (which now starts on Thursday and lasts the whole weekend). I have taken to calling it Thanksgiving’s evil twin sister.

The caving in part is that I’ve decided, with urging from my wife, to help get the Christmas decorations out of the crawl space and do a little lighting of the house. I don’t do well with this. Cold weather, tangled light strands, and general ineptitude are to blame.

But I’m thinking this is all right. The religious Christmas season doesn’t technically start until Christmas Eve. The Catholic Church considers the four weeks before Christmas as Advent; a season of waiting and preparation. I’m not seeing a lot of Advent stuff in the stores or in the avalanche of advertising. But my lights and snowmen are there in preparation and watch.

There are a lot of cool things about the weeks before Christmas. One of them will be Friday. At 6 p.m. at Calumet City Hall on Pulaski and Wentworth, the city will light its Christmas decorations and welcome Santa, who, in the true Advent spirit, will be watching (he does that a lot) and preparing.

After that, a short walk to the Memorial Park field house down Wentworth Ave. will bring one to the lighting of the park district’s trees and buildings. The very fine TF North band under the able directorship of Mr. Joe Malik will perform as will the Hoover School choir. Yours truly and the St. Victor choir will also be laying out a few tunes.

And, along with some goodies, the good folks of the Calumet Memorial Park District and the City of Calumet City will present a fireworks show in the ball field behind the field house.

These season beginning festivities have always been pretty cool. Plan to stop by.

On Sunday Al Jackson the South Suburban Chorale accompanied by several excellent soloists and the Chicago Gargoyle Brass Ensemble will give a concert at St. Victor Church on Memorial Dr. and Hirsch Ave. at 4:00 pm.  This is the 13th Christmas concert by the Chorale at St. Victor and the last for Al Jackson as he retires from South Suburban College. If you like really good music, do yourself a favor - stop by.


Congrats to Artie Rogers, head coach of T.F. North football, as he steps down from the position. His teams always played hard and were fun to watch. Thanks for maintaining a class program.

Congrats to the Mount Carmel football team on last week’s state championship. With coaches Frank Lenti and Mark Antonietti among others, and many of the players, there are plenty of South suburban connections.

The Calumet City, Il Pride Facebook site has doubled in size. And Carrie Steinweg has started a similar Facebook site for Lansing. Sign up.


Mike Pivoriunas passed away recently. He was a football coach at St. Victor and a baseball coach in Cal City and just a generally good guy who passed too soon. Peace to his family.

Jack Sullivan passed recently in Florida where he had retired. Jack was a policeman in Calumet City for 35 years and retired as the chief. He was the father of eight kids, five of whom I taught. And one of his granddaughters was my first grand student (child of one of my students).

Jack was just a great family, community, and church oriented man. He is one of my “breaking in” parents. Those are the ones who taught me as a young teacher about life and kids and Cal City. Peace to his family.

Thanks for reading.

This column solely represents the writer's opinion.

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