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Help Needed For Holiday Hangovers

Hark, the Herolds’ angels swing.

That should come as no big shocker since the angels found inside Herolds’ XXX adult book store and video arcade are definitely of the fallen variety.

I have come to this somewhat seamy spot at W305 Second to investigate an aberration that is leading to the very decorative decline of our fine community:

Post-Santa Stress Syndrome.

Wednesday marked the one-month anniversary since Christmas. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner.

Yet drive through the streets of Spokane and here’s what you will encounter: Twinkling lights. Decked halls. Wreathes and ribbons and bows and….

Christmas may be as dead as Jacob Marley, but fools for yule apparently think old St. Nick went on a bender and missed his rounds.

The scene outside Herolds really roasts my chestnuts.

Multicolored bulbs surround the entrance along with a festive, light-up Rudolph the red-nosed sex merchant.

“Christmas is very big here,” explains Pat, the manager without a last name.

I would tell you more about Pat’s reasons for not taking down his decorations. However, I found it a bit difficult to stay focused on the interview due to a television near the counter that featured some very adventurous naked people who were getting to know each other.

Everyone else - I’m pleased to report - kept their clothes on as I cruised Spokane at night looking for the telltale signs of holiday hangover.

“Cuz, I like ‘em, man,” says John Cage, a drummer with the popular Spokane blues band, “Too Slim and the Taildraggers.”

We are standing outside Cage’s home on South Perry, admiring the festive array of lights that wrap around his porch. Some are arranged into a tree design, but those short-circuited during recent rains.

How twisted is this guy? Well, his dried out, crusty Christmas tree is on a stand in the front yard.

“It was getting pretty far gone and my wife said, ‘Like, you go or the tree goes,”’ he says.

Cage was touring with the band and missed seeing his house lighted up in the snow. “It was raining when I got back,” he says. “So I’m waiting for the snow.”

I was a music major in college. I can tell you with authority that all that constant pounding drives drummers completely bonkers.

Even if it does snow, Cage vows it will be April until Christmas is yanked off life support at his house. (Don’t scoff. Last year he took the lights down in March.)

There should be a support group for Santaholics, sad souls who just can’t say no to Noel.

“She has a hard time letting go,” agrees Charlie Fulbright of his lovely wife, Lynda.

Apparently so. Their tidy home on East 11th glows like Three-Mile Island during a meltdown.

“When we order pizza we just tell them to come to the house with the Christmas lights still on,” adds Lynda.

Some of the lights I saw winking look more like the result of sloth and indolence. If one were to peek inside my home they’d find some silver bells we haven’t got around to taking down.

My mother sometimes waits until August to box up the Christmas candles I give her every year. (OK, ma, I’m exaggerating. It’s no later than June.)

But you have to wonder what the deal is with people like Ivy Metz. Her home on 15th Avenue still is a wonderland of holiday glow. Lights outline the trim, wrap around the shrubs. “If I have to take them down I might lose my mind,” she says.

After talking to these people I can tell you this problem won’t go away.

So write your elected officials. Until laws are passed making Christmas carryover a crime against nature, Post-Santa Stress Syndrome sufferers may never pull their plugs.

“I can see people driving by saying, ‘Give it up!”’ says Metz. “Well, they can just close their eyes and not look.”

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