Most of my friends know that Sept. 15 is a landmark day for me. It heralds the pending arrival of an important holiday in my life — Christmas. As of Sept. 15, this day is only 100 days away.
I realize that we still have several important events prior to the arrival of Christmas. These include the changing of summer to autumn, which is a pivotal event in many ways. It means we dust off the boxes holding our sweaters and begin to fantasize about leaves that disintegrate before raking is required. It means football is in full swing, we will start to gather pumpkins and gourds, and warm cider by the fire is in our future.
About a month into this season of changes and wonder, some of us will celebrate Halloween. Whether you are involved in trick or treating (going or giving out treats), or just go to parties dressed up like someone or something else, this can be a fun time for families and friends. I love the Troy downtown trick or treating and getting to see hundreds of kids dressed up like their favorite story book, comic book, or cartoon heroes.
After Halloween, we’ll acknowledge our veterans and celebrate them with a day of remembrance. This is a special day for me, since I have a lot of vets in my family (Army, Marines, and Navy). It was also a day that, for many years, was one I spent with my mother-in-law. Louise was not only my husband’s mom, but also our next door neighbor, and one of my best friends. We always took this holiday together, to visit the cemeteries, then have lunch, and do a little Christmas shopping. I miss her every day, but especially on Nov. 11.
After that, we start planning for Thanksgiving — a wonderful day filled with amazing aromas, family, football, cards, great food, and sometimes a movie. We never shop on this day, because there’s just too much else to do.
Some of my friends celebrate Hanukkah, this year beginning on Dec. 12. A few others will celebrate Kwanzaa, which actually falls on Dec. 26, as does Boxing Day. But we’ll start talking about them and planning food for them by early December.
There’s much to do between Sept. 15 and Dec. 24, but for me, getting ready for Christmas is a joy. I spend each of the 100 days thinking about, preparing, and readying for this event. I love each minute of it and wish the holiday could last longer.
So here we are, a few days past Sept. 15. My ceramic snowman has been placed carefully in my bookcase again, as it heralds the countdown to Christmas each day, starting with 99. I’m busy preparing tailgate parties, buying Halloween candy, sending cards to my family members who are veterans, and raking leaves. I’m loving it all — but in my head, I’m trimming the trees, decorating the mantles, and wrapping gifts for my loved ones.
Time to embrace my inner elf!
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Sue is a retired public servant who volunteers at the Hospice store (For All Seasons) in Troy and teaches part-time at Urbana University. She keeps busy taking care of husband, house, and pets. She and her husband have an adult son who lives in Troy.