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Ho ho ho! Let the holidays begin
judi tabler bw mug

The holiday season has begun. You may not be ready. Doesn’t matter. We are marching like lemmings to the slaughter. The ship is sailing and we are on it.
The countdown has begun. Let’s see. We are out about 20 days until Thanksgiving; and about 50 days until Christmas. That’s roughly seven weeks.
You can jump ship if you want, but I think the boat will keep churning anyway.
Since Halloween is past, and the Halloween candy is being replaced by Christmas candy, we may as well keep rowing. (I still suspect there is a little guy in the back room of the grocery stores whose job is to remove the pumpkin-ghost-themed wrappers and scoop the candy into red and green ones to re-sell as Christmas candy.)
Keep in mind that Thanksgiving is still a very important holiday, even though commercially, Christmas often drowns it out. For Thanksgiving is the time for us to pray for our nation and thank God for His many blessings; to ask for guidance in these days ahead. In the stores, turkeys will be visible; so will cranberries.
HOWEVER, it’s full steam ahead.
Man the rudders, steer this boat, avoid obstacles (baking goodies on shelves in the middle of the aisle). Keep the boat balanced. (Who’s balanced at this time of year?)
The local stores are stocking their shelves and decorating the windows and aisles. Most set aside a shelf or two for Thanksgiving, but it’s the Christmas theme where they dock. It’s their boom time, after all. Recipes for every candy and cookie are everywhere that chocolate chips, nuts, or marshmallow jars can be found. Television has been pushing the gift and decorating scenario for weeks.
Here it comes. I can see in the not too far distance. The fat American becomes heavier; the recipes become richer, and the diet business is waiting in the wings, drooling for its chance in January.
I hope I can resist. Oh forget it.
Something very peculiar has happened to my psyche this season. After three Christmases of putting up a teeny, weensy tree (and loving it), I am reviving the BIG tree this year. What is the matter with me?
I think my attending the gift show at the Dallas Market did it.
Professionally decorated trees were all over the place.
For some reason, the flocked, whiter look appeals to me. Call it déjà-vu. But, thank goodness, I am not getting an aluminum tree. They have returned as well.
Our family’s old, traditional decorations can plead and sob, but I am not taking them out of the box. I am on course! I have a vision!
I want to put my large tree up now.
Not when Advent is over. No. Not then.
I will “send” Fred to the barn to find that old, forgotten tree. I bet it’s dusty. It’s also in pieces. It might be in a box. When he brings it up to the house, I will put it together outside and shoot it clean with the air hose.
You see, Christmastide is so hectic that I find little time to enjoy the tree, much less plug it in during the evening. Some years, I actually forget it’s in the room. Up it goes, and then down it comes. Whoosh. Nothing in between.
We all have pictured ourselves relaxing while reading a good book, drinking cocoa, enjoying the lights glowing on the tree. NOT. It certainly hasn’t happened in my life during those few weeks and I bet it hasn’t happened in yours either.
Maybe, just maybe, I will enjoy the tree if it’s around for a bit longer?
What do you think? Are any of you going to rush the season? I truly understand that I am completely decimating my previous philosophies. However, I think it will be fun to enjoy the tree during Thanksgiving. If nothing more, it announces that the birthday of our Savior is coming. Grab hold of anticipation.
I can justify anything, can’t I?

Judi Tabler is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune and her views don’t necessarily reflect those of the paper. She can be reached at