OLYMPIA -- Thanksgiving is over and signs of the next big stop in the "holiday season" are everywhere, even if you didn't go shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Sign 1: The Holiday Kids' Tree, a fir tree about 33 feet tall (or long on Monday morning, as it is on its side in the Capitol Rotunda being strung with lights) was delivered to the Legislative Building, off-loaded by crane from a flatbed truck and hauled up the North Steps. It was hoisted into its stand later in the afternoon.
And before anyone reports state government to the O'Reilly Factor for a War On Christmas violation over this tannenbaum, the annual display is not state-funded, and its sponsor, the Association of Washington Business, has called it the Holiday Kids' Tree since 1989.
Sign 2: The North American Aerospace Defense Command sent out its annual notice that the will be tracking Santa's flight on Christmas Eve, which people will be able to follow online. Starting Tuesday, its website will feature a look at Santa's Village, and on Dec. 24th it will also provide a toll-free call-in service to check on the old guy's whereabouts. Don't worry, we'll have the number closer to the day, so you don't have to worry about writing it down now and misplacing it.
Sign 3: The state calendar of events for the Capitol and its environs says a Menorah will go up in a nearby park on Friday, the same day as the tree-lighting ceremony. A live Nativity display is scheduled for Friday in the same park.
No sign yet of a Festivus pole, or a display by atheists.