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This column reflects the opinion of the writer. Learn about the differences between a news story and an opinion column.

Opinion >  Column

The Slice: It’s time to get to work on that shopping list

Let’s consider the arguments for and against declaring Labor Day weekend to be the unofficial start of the “holiday season.”

Pro: They could start showing “A Charlie Brown Christmas” before the beginning of autumn.

Con: This idea is insane.

Pro: Marketers already view the calendar this way.

Con: That makes it right?

Pro: If eager anticipation is the best part of any holiday, why not get started?

Con: So are we going to see breathless notices about there being only 115 shopping days left before Christmas?

Pro: More time to come up with excuses about why you won’t be hosting the post-election family Thanksgiving this year.

Con: Festive-season fatigue would set in before the first frost.

Pro: It’s a mere 61 days until Halloween — better lay in a supply of bite-size Snickers.

Con: Four months of Christmas music would cause some of us to snap.

Hey, kids: Here are a few tips on writing an effective grade-school “How I spent my summer” essay.

If you haven’t done anything except play computer games, plan on going the fiction route.

Choose a title that will grab your teacher’s attention, such as “The Camping Trip that Made Me a Woman” or “How I Got This Limp.”

Consider a gimmicky format such as opening with “Dear Penthouse,” writing from the perspective of your dog, presenting your paper as a screenplay or crafting a parody of the opening of “The Catcher in the Rye.”

Tell about something you learned.

Declare yourself a spokesperson for your generation and set the record straight about how coddled, rude and useless you are.

Limit the number of times you say “It was really fun.”

Resist the urge to make the piece an indictment of your parents.

Talk about your garage band, your treehouse, labor unrest at the lemonade stand or why you had to block your sister from commenting on your blog.

There will be cake: Friends of Norm Whitford are invited to drop by his home in Otis Orchards between 2 and 4 p.m. Sunday to help celebrate the World War II veteran’s 90th birthday. For details, call his son, Steve, at (509) 220-7678.

Today’s Slice question: What’s the biggest thing that bit you this summer?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email This will not go on your permanent record.

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