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Where we live: Relax and enjoy the season

Five years ago, I wrote a column about my love-hate relationship with this time of year.

Why? Not because the weather is changing from summer to fall and then to winter, but rather, the fact that people tend to rush through the holidays.

Christmas seems to come earlier and earlier, and Thanksgiving is squeezed so tightly in between the ghosts and ghouls of Halloween and Jingle Bells, that poor Tom Turkey can barely breathe.

I witnessed that over the last weekend when my family went to Lowe’s to pick up a few items for painting our living and dining rooms.

As we walked in, I was greeted by the twinkling lights of Christmas, with massive blow-up decorations and enough artificial tree choices to make your head spin. To my left though, hiding under rows of Christmas inflatables, were Halloween and fall decorations, sitting there, wishing to be more than just an afterthought to the “biggest holiday of the year” - that is still over a month and a half away.

Of course, the draw of Santa, Rudolph and Frosty sucked the kids in like a vortex, and trying to get them out of those aisles without grabbing every stuffed decoration in sight was enough to give me a headache.

We ended up leaving with three packs of Christmas window clings for their bedroom windows (which are already up) and a bag full of new strings of lights for me so I wouldn’t have to hunt for them next month when I pull out the Christmas decorations and find that the gremlins were playing with the strings and burning out lights that worked perfectly last year.

But as I stood there, in all this Christmas overload, I realized just how much I enjoy this time of year. Not because of Santa and definitely not because of the upcoming snow that my family (minus me) will pray for this winter, but because these three holidays are a time that bring us together. Make people just a little kinder and bring smiles to children’s faces - especially now when this pandemic has uprooted a lot of annual traditions.

I had to chuckle as I remembered my previous column about my love-hate relationship with October, November and December because some of my feelings, even with two children now, are still the same.

Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas have been mashed into a jumble of overly scary, yet full of sparkly lights waiting for the jolly ol’ fat elf to squeeze down our chimneys, sprinkled with bits of cranberries and turkey on top. It’s almost like a train wreck that you just can’t help but gawk at and honestly, it’s overwhelming and yet at the same time, oddly joyful.

I’m not going to lie, once December hits, I turn into the Grinch as I try to figure out what to buy everyone and then pray the packages make it on time and I get everything wrapped, but overall, it’s something I wouldn’t change for the world.

So as we sit here stealing a piece or two of the children’s Halloween candy stash (and if you are a parent, you know you do it!), figuring out what we are going to make for Thanksgiving and how to get the toys and other items that are on our kids’ lists in time for Christmas, just remember, these three months are more than a time for getting. They are a time for making memories.

So take a moment, step back, relax and enjoy each holiday season in its entirety because they aren’t about how much candy you get, how amazing your pumpkin pie came out or how many gifts are left under the tree.

It’s about friends, family and making lasting memories - all things that no store can put a price tag on.

Harry HalloThanksMas!