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NEVER MIND Thanksgiving, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, in line with the trend of recent years to bring on yuletide at the first sign of a frost. Pittsburgh's 52nd annual Light-Up Night, billed as the official start of the holiday season, was held Friday evening with more celebrations Saturday. The familiar holiday sights are up -- nostalgic revelers can see the Christmas tree wrapped around the corner of the Highmark building, the tree in the middle of the PPG Place skating rink and the tree at the City-County-Building. Even Market Square has a futuristic-looking Christmas tree. The best gift for Pittsburghers may be the free Saturday parking at Pittsburgh Parking Authority garages in Downtown, Oakland and Shadyside through Dec. 22. But turkeys should not rest easy; Santa may have arrived in Pittsburgh but Thanksgiving will still be celebrated this Thursday.

AN EARLY CHRISTMAS present was not to be for Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen, who this year had the most stellar season in his four-year major league career even as the Buccos continued their losing ways. The National League Most Valued Player Award went instead to Buster Posey, the San Francisco Giants catcher fresh from earning a World Series ring. The pride of the Buccos finished third in the voting by the Baseball Writers Association of America, with Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun in second place. Andrew McCutchen hit .327 with 31 home runs, a .400 on-base percentage and a .553 slugging percentage. The 26-year-old Pirates star congratulated the winner in a gracious statement but is looking ahead. "I am motivated to continue to work and I'm already looking forward to the 2013 season," he said. If it's one thing that Pirates fans have to be thankful for at Thanksgiving, it is that.

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