The Race Toward the Holidays in New England

We are in that dead zone between Halloween and Thanksgiving. The days are short, the weather unpredictable and it’s just too damned early to think about Christmas. While perusing the meat case at the grocery the other day, I watched one of the employees restocking the ground beef. She was muttering to herself as the tray tipped and the packages spilled into the case. “Well that just figures, I can’t believe how this day is going.”

I stepped over to help and she smiled apologetically. “It’s just this time of year, right?” she asked. “I went into WalMart and they have all their Christmas stuff out, even here, the stupid Christmas music has started but it doesn’t feel merry.” I agreed, by mid-December we will all be sick to death of Burl Ives and Kenny Chesney’s renditions of the carols. But right now, they seem less than inspiring.

So what is there to celebrate this time of year? Here are my top ten:

  • The phone call from an elderly relative who makes you feel special.
  • An email from a local reporter with wonderful questions that make you stop and think.
  • The enthusiastic response from twenty authors who love your idea for a holiday book fair.
  • A warm trail ride down the dirt roads with a friend in the sun.
  • Knowing the bills are paid for the moment.
  • The purr of an old cat who loves you unconditionally.
  • The smell of a bouncy red dog who has been out snuffling through the leaves.
  • A fire to sit by on a cold night while reading a good book.
  • The smell of soup bubbling on the stove.
  • Spending the afternoon giggling with a girlfriend, sharing a glass of wine, as we split and stack wood.

All the little things I should be celebrating every day.

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Photo and “Bitch” wine courtesy of Laura Mahoney

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