Wake-Up Call: Baby Jesus says goodbye

Last night, for the first time in eight weeks, the garish holiday lighting of the Denver City and County Building was not my night-light. That's because the city had finally flicked the switch, turning off the display at City Hall and packing up everything on the steps: Rudolph and his fellow reindeer, and Santa, and the snowman, and the weird, country-music-playing elves, and Mary and Joseph and Baby Jesus and the very large cow.

On January 25. As one Westword wag noted, the city is like that irritating neighbor who never takes down his Christmas decorations.

Tradition is all well and good, and we understand that folks coming in from the hinterlands for the National Western Stock Show might enjoy the light display -- that's why, historically, the city has let the show continue until late January. But ranch people know what a cow looks like, and it's not the odd figure in Denver's Nativity display. For that matter, the display itself -- loaded up with non-religious junk to avoid any Constitutional violations -- is a pretty odd animal, altogether.

So next year, Denver officials might want to at least clear the steps by January 1 (or whatever day avoids overtime for public workers...), easing access for civic business and saving the city some embarrassment.

They can leave the lights on.

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