Some regular readers might recall that this is not my favorite time of year.
I don’t like cold weather.
I recall only one time when I enjoyed snow and that involved a snowball fight.
This is the time of year when one crawls out of bed in the dark and goes home from work in the dark.
But I’m hanging in there. One of my favorite days of the year is right around the corner.
That would be the winter solstice, Dec. 21, the day that officially marks the beginning of lengthening days and shortening nights.
Translation: spring is right around the corner.
My next favorite holiday is Groundhog Day. No matter what that woodchuck sees, spring is officially on its way.
But then again, this is Kansas. Who really knows what weather lies ahead?
Now there is a holiday on its way that seems to excite a lot of people.
For some, that would be Christmas, a day celebrated with family. For others, that would be New Year’s Eve, a day celebrated with friends.
Over the years, the way I have celebrated Christmas has changed.
As a youth we didn’t start preparing for the holiday right after Halloween.
Didn’t it seem this year that stores started Black Friday sales on Nov. 1?
Maybe a week before Dec. 25, Dad would go out into the pasture and cut down a tree. It was not a Colorado blue spruce but more of an eastern red cedar, which most farmers and ranchers control by burning their pastures. It sure smelled good!
Mom would get out the box of decorations and we kids would string popcorn for a garland.
The number one goal of my brother was to find the gifts before Christmas, thus he was seldom surprised on Christmas morning.
Christmas morning’s schedule was church and lunch at my grandmother’s.
After my wife Kathy and I started a family, there were four Christmases we attended. A similar hectic holiday schedule was later made into a movie with Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon.
There was Christmas with Grandma C in Clyde, Grandma N in Concordia and my folks and Kathy’s folks in Abilene.
Christmas with my folks involved chicken and noodles and cinnamon rolls with nuts or no nuts. My dad was in charge of serving those in the buffet line and that was his mantra, “Nuts or no nuts?”
Christmas at Kathy’s folks involved opening the gifts, a creative gift from my father-in-law Joe, the kids playing with the boxes and a late night later at home with Jimmy Stewart in “It’s a Wonderful Life.” After all, it was aired every single Christmas Eve for as long as I can remember.
In a couple weeks I am looking forward to seeing Jimmy and Donna Reed dance the Charleston and Clarence get his wings. Again.
I was never very good at buying gifts.
Santa has settled on stuffing Kathy’s stocking with her favorite bottle of perfume. But since there are about five bottles on her vanity right now, Santa might have to be more creative this year.
Santa usually brings me a dozen golf balls.
Now entering the “maybe it’s time to learn what Medicare Part B is all about” phase of our lives, Christmas evening is the time we take down the decorations throughout the house.
And get ready for spring.