Time to get a handle on the holiday season

By TIM BEELAND,

So, it seems, the holidays are upon us. We watched through our front office windows last week as city of Forest workers hung the pretty green garland with red bows on light posts and railings, and likewise as banners with greetings and lights that will be sparkling took their place on their poles all around town.

There is a radio station on the dial in the car that started playing Christmas music on the day after Halloween, I think, and my wife and dad and I have, unfortunately, already finished off a couple of those pre-sliced fruitcake bars.

Dad and I even knocked out a quart of eggnog several weeks ago — well actually he knocked it out, I just had a healthy snort to make sure it was good and fresh!

The local grocery stores are pushing turkeys and hams in their holiday newspaper inserts and before we know it — just a week out now — Thanksgiving will have come and gone and the Christmas season will have “officially” arrived.

A segment of the morning news, most mornings if not all, will include a shot of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in New York City as some 50,000 LED lights are strung from top to bottom.

This year's tree, according to NBC’s Today Show, “comes from Florida, New York, a small town in upstate and weighs approximately 12 tons, making it about 5 feet taller and 2 tons heavier than last year’s Norway spruce.” It is estimated to be  70-75 years old.

The new star for the top of that monster tree will be heavier too. I read on the Internet Monday that it is estimated to weigh 900 lbs. Wow! I don’t know about you all, but I can’t even keep a less-than-a-pound-size topper straight on the top of our trees most years. Perhaps a trip to the Big Apple is in order with a lesson from those New York City workers included.

On second thought, since they say the tree, in the years past, has drawn a crowd of over 800,000 visitors a day, I’ll figure out a way to fix my topper on my own. Maybe duct tape!

By this time next week holiday shopping will be in full force as shoppers prepare to make the Black Friday dash. As you are making your list and checking it twice remember that shopping locally is the route to go all year long, but especially during the Christmas season. Not a penny of those Amazon.com sales are used to keep all this garland, banners, and bows looking so nice and festive and if you think all the bright twinkling lights you see around town are twinkling on their own, well, think again.

We all know it is fun to go to the big city, just to get out of town for a little while, but seriously, take a minute to look around Scott County and see if you can’t find what you’re looking for on your Christmas list first. You might just be surprised.

Keep in mind, though, that Thanksgiving is late this year and if you haven’t looked at the calendar already, you better go ahead and take a gander. There are only four short weeks between the day of the turkey and the day of Christ’s birth, so, my friends, we best get a handle on this holiday season now while the handle is still getable, otherwise we might be having to make do with something we really don’t want to have to make do with come December 25th.

It is bad enough that time passes more quickly as we age, or so it seems, but did we really need a shorter Christmas season, with less time to enjoy all those sights, and sounds, and, of course, fruit cake and eggnog?

Happy holidays everyone and good luck topping off your Christmas tree — and Christmas list — this year.