Breanna Miscione of the Los Angeles Karting Club cruises down Second Street during the annual Belmont Shore Christmas Parade in Long Beach, Calif. on
Breanna Miscione of the Los Angeles Karting Club cruises down Second Street during the annual Belmont Shore Christmas Parade in Long Beach, Calif. on Saturday, December 5, 2009. File photo. (Jeff Gritchen / Staff Photographer)

We were going to write about the despair and grief that the right wing is suffering in these days before they finally pull themselves together and begin their campaigning for Obama's impeachment, but our admirable graciousness in victory and our noblesse oblige trump our schadenfreude-fueled glee - and by the way, has anyone heard the term "schadenfreude" bandied about as much as it's been this last week? - but we've settled instead on a subject we can all agree on: Christmas.

Can Christmas ever come too early? We say no. We should start celebrating Christmas right after the Epiphany. "The Nutcracker" should be performed by buskers on street corners year-round. We have to suffer through nine or 10 months out of the year before we get to hear "The Little Drummer Boy" and "The 12 Days of Christmas" again.

Progress has been made. Thanksgiving used to be an impassable roadblock, keeping the yuletide at bay. But lately Christmas has not only swamped Thanksgiving, rendering it little more than a midweek turkey dinner, but it's taken a big bite out of Halloween as well. It's got its sights set on Labor Day.

And by "Christmas," we mean the Christmas season, not "the holidays." The year-end holidays of Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year's Eve/Day all remain pretty tidily and politely keyed to the calendar without slopping over into all the months in which it's safe to eat mussels and clams.

There are hundreds of soft openings for the Christmas season, mostly concerning sales at cut-rate department stores, but for our purposes, we're calling the first day of Christmas Nov. 28, when Long Beach, in the spirit of the season, generously joins forces with Signal Hill for the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony, in which city officials throw the switch on the tree at Discovery Well Park, 2200 Temple Ave., in Signal Hill, but just barely. The fun starts at 5:30 p.m.

Fake snow falls onto parade watchers at the 2009 Belmont Shore Christmas Parade. File photo.
Fake snow falls onto parade watchers at the 2009 Belmont Shore Christmas Parade. File photo. (Jeff Gritchen / Staff Photographer)
, or, in the case of bad weather, not at all. Guests are invited to bring unwrapped gifts for children from infant to 17 years old.

The local trinity of Christmas parades kicks off at 6 p.m. Dec. 1 with the 30th annual Belmont Shore Christmas Parade. This one has more than 100 entries, including floats, marching bands, drill teams and the always wildly popular city councilpeople.

For the 100th consecutive year, we will be one of the float judges and we should warn floaters that we look askance at those that don't cleave to the theme which, this year, is "Go for the Gold," with grand marshals Misty May Treanor and her Dodger husband and Mater Dei alum Matt Treanor.

Other Olympians will also be in the parade, including Wilson High's gold and bronze medalist Jessica Hardy. The parade goes east on Second Street from Livingston Avenue and makes a U-turn at Bayshore and returns west.

The following Saturday, Dec. 8, you get the 59th running of the Daisy Avenue Parade, which is at 5 p.m. The parade runs along Daisy Avenue between Burnett Street and Pacific Coast Highway in the Wrigley neighborhood of Long Beach. It's way more down-home than the more spangly Shore version, with more car clubs, more kids and more Marion Catholics.

The parade season takes to the sea on Dec. 15, with the 64th Naples Holiday Boat Parade, featuring smallish decorated craft cruising through the canals, with the larger, more garish yachts circling around like shark outside the canals on Alamitos Bay.

The large boats start patrolling the water at 6 p.m.; the canal crawl starts at 6:45.

The Naples theme is Olympian as well: Go for the Gold.

The parade coincides with Naples' annual contest for best decorated house, so you're sure to to the whole island ablaze in insanely expensive glory.

As we veer closer to the dates of the parades, we'll give you more details, including what the police will do to your stuff you put out along the curb on Second Street on parade day to reserve space for all your family on friends if you set it out too early.

tgrobaty@yahoo.com, 562-714-2116 or twitter.com/grobaty