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Perugino: Covingtons annual Christmas parade
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My wife and I attended the Christmas parade held today in Covington. The weather was beautiful and the streets and sidewalks were crowded with families and children anxious to acknowledge the coming Christmas season. There were marching bands and parade floats galore. Wait - there was something missing! Except for one band and one float of a manger, there was no sign of a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. I am not one to exclude the secular celebration of Christmas with Santa Claus for a strictly exclusive focus on the birth of our Lord, but neither do I wish to exclude the real reason for celebration either.

It would be nice to have seen scenes on floats with shepherds keeping sheep, announcing angels, a Star of Nazareth and of course manger scenes of the Blessed Mother Mary, St. Joseph and the baby Jesus.

Certainly with all the beautiful Christmas hymns that have been written, if played, would have surely stirred the Christmas spirit in those attending. We fight on the national level to protect our freedom of religion, struggle with the wording and mandates of bills that may encroach on that freedom and otherwise profess our devotion to God and country. But doesn't that begin in our small towns? On the parade floats lovingly put together by our local churches? By the music selected by our high school bands? By the message and themes displayed by our local civic organizations?

I do believe this is where it begins and also where we begin to lose that devotion.

William Perugino is active in local and regional politics and can be reached at