Its December, and even though I don’t care much for winter and certainly don’t care much for the fact that December is our biggest “expense” month of the year, I still get a good feeling when December gets here. I seem to always have the sense that things are peaceful. Can’t explain that, but it’s there just the same. As a family we tend to not over-do Christmas. We have only a few traditions we observe, and most of them are not very “traditional”. We have all managed to be together for the holidays for a number of years now. This year that happened in early November so we may not get the Christmas gathering we’ve become used to. But we did have a family gathering to be remembered forever this year as my parents and all their kids and grandkids enjoyed a tropical cruise. That was our “agreed to” Christmas gift to each other. So this Christmas holds little anticipation for us to see family. Although we will probably visit with friends.
Even with Christmas being a low-key event for us this year, December still feels good. What is it that makes this time of year special? We hardly ever do a Christmas tree but we do play Christmas music on the radio non-stop from Thanksgiving through Christmas. I lose track of our work projects over the years, but can remember all of the ones where Christmas music was playing in the background. We enjoy campfires a lot in the back yard and at the cabins. By December they mean more just because the new extra chill in the air makes the campfire warmth that much more important and there’s something different from just watching a fire and being warmed by a fire. In December, there’s a difference between carrying around a cup of coffee and carrying around a hand warmer with coffee in it. I enjoy reading all the time but this time of year I feel like putting away my normal diet of instructional/educational books and picking up some purely recreational reading. Even our business activities seem different. Depending on the work load we may still work through the holidays, but mostly we spend time reflecting on the past year and looking to the coming year for what our plans might look like.
Even today at 10 a.m. I’m sitting out on the deck, the trees have now lost their leaves, there’s a cup of hot coffee close by. I can see the lake in the distance with a few brave fishermen. Its cloudy but somewhat mild with just enough cool to make it feel like December. Faint smell of wood smoke from somewhere. And I’m content! I hear geese down by the lake and even a train way over by Branson. Even though it’s not snowing, I feel like I’m in the Robert Frost poem, “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening”. To me, that’s December.
By January all the warm and fuzzy of the season will be over for me and it will just be winter. But for now, its December and will enjoy every day of winters “poster child” month.