‘Tis the season for it all

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‘Tis the season for it all, and it already has been plenty. We are deep in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, and the momentum keeps building. Dec. 14 seems much later in the month than it really is, most likely because we already had a Small Business Saturday, my dad’s 86th birthday celebration, rode bikes in Ciclavia, had a First Fridays and started Hanukkah. I was a judge at the Belmont Shore Christmas Parade and had all of that jingle belling and snow falling among marching bands, community groups and the largest collection of Corgis I have ever seen. The family enjoyed multiple nights of Hanukkah, and I even got to light the candles at the Congregation Lubavitch. Next, we’re off to see the holiday lights and then more holiday lights.

Marley had a performance at school, we’ve organized fun adventures and special treats for the Strollers, had the in-laws in town, and then the other in-laws come here and then we’ll go make two trips to see them next.

The other day we had family over, went to the Kidical Mass bike ride, then took a Duffy boat ride with friends and then celebrated the last night of Hanukkah at my dad’s house. I exhaled and then, on the way home, we talked about the next wave of gifts to get out. Oh, yeah, and let’s get the holiday cards out! Had to shoot, print, stuff, seal, stamp and send.
And we’re still plenty busy with parties, events, shopping, secret shopping, gift wrapping, dinners and prepping for dinners.

And I realized we haven’t even gotten to Christmas yet.

I have been able to dodge the endless-looping holiday music so far, with the exception of our DJ at First Fridays– which was nice, and we welcomed the upbeat songs. No mall traffic or lack of kindness and lack of goodwill toward mankind for us with folks cutting the lines or dissecting clothes racks and product displays. We’ve opted for the warmth of community right here in Bixby Knolls.

This year, I have made every effort to actually be in the moment at each event, celebration and gathering. I’m usually guilty of thinking of the next place when I get to the next place, but not this time. Even when we have three or four stops in a day, I have made sure to be there in body and mind. It seems to make all the difference, but it also certainly distorts my sense of time.

It’s only the 14th of the month, but, to me, it seems like the 30th. And 3pm seems like 6pm, and 7:30pm seems like… bedtime.

I’ve been working on my next story, but I haven’t been behind the keyboard long enough to put it all together just yet. I will have plenty more to write in 2019 (given that the Signal Tribune lets me), but, as you can read, we have been just a little occupied, and I can’t get to it all. As much as we have tried, it’s just impossible to do it all.

We have received wonderful and enticing invitations to holiday parties, parades, holiday concerts, cocktail parties, mixers and caroling. Sometimes the invitation is enough and fills our cup of holiday cheer, but we’d never be home at all if we could make it to every stop. And don’t forget we have to get Marley to and from preschool three times a week; her swim and ballet classes, too.

Truth be told, I’d like to black out the windows and crawl under a mountain of blankets and sheets and hibernate for a week or so. That sounds pretty good to me, and recharging my battery is probably the right medicine for this time of year. And if you really know me, then you know that I dread the sounding of “Auld Lang Syne” as the year ends and we begin a new one. But this year, with Marley being the best focus and distraction, there will be a special “Noon Years Eve” event in the Expo Arts Center that will allow us to have a countdown and balloon drop and justify going to bed early. A milk-and-cookies toast at noon sounds like a nice time to me (and I won’t take it personally if you say I’m just getting old!).

So, in between all the coming and going, the rush and fuss, the buying, packing and planning, I wanted to say happy holidays to you all. I am hoping that you all stay in the moment and soak up all the memories. Document them. Save them. Go to the parties, do the cooking and actually call friends and family (texting doesn’t count).

And in the immortal words of that national iconic treasure, Madonna:

“Holiday! Celebrate! If we took a holiday, took some time to celebrate, just one day out of life, it would be, it would be so nice!”

Season’s greetings, blessings, good fortunes and an abundance of joy to you and your family.