Archived Story

Beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Published 10:04pm Thursday, November 14, 2013

Maybe it’s the chilly weather.
Maybe it’s knowing that there are several fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, meaning I have fewer days to get my shopping done.
Maybe it’s the Christmas wreaths on the front of the TPI building and the “Merry Christmas” banners all over town.
But for some reason, I’ve got the holidays on the brain this year.
Immediately after Halloween, my parents gave me a decorative Christmas-themed owl. And this past weekend, I thought, “It’s close enough to the holidays now, right?”
The owl is now proudly displayed in a nook in my house, next to a picture frame that reads “Happy Holidays!”
I’m already planning a front door decoration that will jazz up my normal bows or wreath – paper “coal” eyes, a paper “carrot” nose and a paper scarf.
Yes, I’m turning my front door into a snowman.
I’ve eyed my Christmas tree in the box in my closet, wondering when is too soon to rearrange my furniture and place the tree in my window.
It’s so comforting to drive past my house and see the twinkling lights in the window, welcoming me home.
Christmas has always been one of my favorite times of year – not because the Santa visits or even the delicious Thanksgiving and Christmas meals (and certainly not my favorite because of the temperatures).
I love it because it reminds me of the sense of family, the excitement of seeing relatives I don’t see much.
It reminds me of sitting around my grandmother’s living room, telling stories from our family’s past and genuinely laughing in all the right places, even though we all know the stories by heart.
It reminds me of gift swaps and Secret Santas and games of Dirty Santa – the pleasure you can get from giving someone a gift secretly or opening a gift without knowing who gave it to you.
It reminds me of sleepy Christmas mornings, clutching a cup of coffee and wearing fuzzy socks while my mom serves breakfast to my extended family.
It also reminds me that this is the time of giving to those who are less fortunate – whether that’s by donating time to the Salvation Army by ringing the bells in front of local businesses or donating money to the United Way to support 23 local agencies that help our friends and neighbors every day.
I hope the Alexander City Chamber of Commerce’s Holiday Open House this Sunday gets you in the holiday spirit as well, if you aren’t already feeling a bit Christmasy.
Even though people aren’t quite finished putting up their Christmas lights or trees, to me, it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.
Spears is general manager for The Outlook.