Let the Christmas Season Begin

It is hard not to get swept up in the Christmas hype too early. It seems like the stores, social media content creators, and anxious people are playing Christmas music and putting out decorations prior to Halloween. As I get older, I am really trying to enjoy and appreciate each season, each holiday, even each and every single day, like it was my last. Because, well… we never know. So, soak it all in. That is why I impatiently patiently wait until after Thanksgiving to delve into the Christmas spirit. In full transparency, I do try to do my Christmas shopping early. (Fair warning, photo blast ahead.)

Thanksgiving recap

Thanksgiving is the period at the end of the sentence before we jump into Christmas. It is the calm before the storm of activities, baking and wrapping. I thought I would share a brief follow-up to my previous post, Thanksgiving Traditions & Change. We had a wonderful dinner at our son #2 and DIL’s lovely, welcoming home. Of course, the best part was that we were able to have almost all of our family together. (Unfortunately, Son #1 and his wife, who live halfway across the U.S., were not able to make the trip for the short weekend.)

Son #2 (aka, “king of the Traeger”) cooked the best ham and smoked turkey I have ever had. Sooo good!

Everyone chipped in and brought dishes to share. The hosts thoughtfully had “to go” containers and encouraged everyone to take home leftovers. Of course, leftovers are one of the best parts of the Thanksgiving meal. And yes, I am one of those people that takes pictures of food. Matter of fact, I took so many pictures of the food and table that I hardly got any of the people. Hum… I wonder if this says anything about my priorities?

On to Christmas

The day after Thanksgiving, our little city kicks off the Christmas season with a parade and fireworks. The day was crisp and sunny, so Mr. U and I decided to brave the crowds and drive into town to enjoy the festivities. One of the advantages of being retired is that we were able to go early, before things got too busy and every available parking spot was gone. We started the evening off with a glass of wine at the Coeur d’Alene Resort. We snagged a perfect table overlooking the water and watched the sunset.

The view from our table.

It was hard to tear ourselves away from the view to head down to main street for the parade. Not to mention, “baby it’s cold outside.” By the time we got down there the crowds were gathering. Our small city is flooded with people for the event. Below are a few pictures from the parade.

The Grinch seems to be quite popular this year. Dr. Suess has always been one of my favorite authors. When I was a kid, our neighbor gifted us with a whole pile of Dr. Suess books that she no longer used. It was probably the best hand-me-down that I ever received. It opened the world of Dr. Suess to me. I read those books to my younger brother over and over again. It got to the point that he was tired of listening long before I was tired of reading. Fast forward a generation and I was reading them to my own kids. Move forward another generation and I am reading them to my grandkids. So, thank you to Dr. Suess for being such a fun, creative author. And…leaving us with The Grinch.

After the parade the loudspeaker comes on and they say the obligatory thankyous. Then the crowd swarms over towards the lake to watch the fireworks display.

The grand finale of the evening is the lighting ceremony. The announcer leads the crowd in singing Silent Night together. It is powerful to hear that many people honoring the reason we celebrate Christmas. Then there is a countdown until all of the lights come on. Workers have been hanging lights on the trees and surrounding area for weeks preparing for this moment when they all come on at once and everyone claps. We clap for the lights. We clap for the fireworks. And we clap just because we are thankful to bear witness to all the people gathering together to celebrate everything that is wonderful about this season. With all of the sadness and turmoil in the world, it is a blessing to know that most people are good, and that we share a common love in our humanity. Let the Christmas season begin!

2 comments on “Let the Christmas Season Begin

  1. Family & seasonal celebrations are punctuations marks to everyday life. “The grand essentials of happiness are something to do, something to love and something to hope for.” a. k. chalmers

    1. Hi Mona –

      This is a great quote and so true. It makes me wonder if the reason so many people are unhappy in retirement is because they are missing one or more of these essentials. Something to ponder.

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