This time of year I’m like a kid at – well – Christmas.

I’m not sure what it is, but it seems like as soon as I see Santa Claus in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, any concerns I have get wiped away while I bask in the warmth of the Christmas season.

It seemed like half the houses in my neighborhood had lights up the day after Thanksgiving. And almost everyone I know was out hustling and bustling trying to get the good deal on whatever at the stores holding sales Friday morning.

I had friends in town and the kids and I made paper snowflakes and hung them from the ceiling all around the house. I got peppermint flavored creamer for my coffee and suddenly, the egg nog is in season again.

I can’t seem to help but to smile this time of year.

Yeah, it’s colder than it was a month ago. You’ve got to turn your heat up. You may have to scrape your car off before heading to work. And there’s a lot more traffic than there should be on Transit, the Boulevard, Military Road and Walden. But how can you not grin at the toddler with the gleam in his eyes entranced by the toy at the store that you know he’s getting – even if he doesn’t.

Of course, there are some kids that don’t get the toy. And some people who can’t afford the peppermint creamer. And even people who can afford to turn the heat up.

Fortunately, we seem to remember the needy more this time of year. And we make donations of food, clothes and even money to local charities more so than we would in, say, October.

In the Spring and Summer, I’m very interested in being out and about. Doing things with those I care about. Or even by myself. I want to see new things and try new things. This year I got to see and try many things that I hadn’t done before. I consider the year to have been successful.
But by late November and early December, all I want to do is sit on the couch with my kids and watch one Christmas movie after another. Ones from when they were younger. Ones from when I was younger. And even ones from when you were younger.

The same goes for Christmas music. I almost couldn’t wait to turn Christmas music on. I did though. Thursday night on my way into work, it was all Christmas music. And the look in my eyes was probably about the same as the toddler in the toy store.

There’s something special about Christmas music. There’s notes that can only be achieved when singing about the holidays. The same thing seems true for Christmas movies. Things take on more meaning.

This is an emotional time of year for me. Always has been. You might know me as “that jerk,” but when it comes to the holiday season, I forget to play that role and I get all mushy.

Maybe Christmas is just stressful for you. You have to work overtime and can’t forget to get a gift for Aunt Betty. And the bills pile up. And driving is frustrating. Etc. Etc. Etc.

Let all that go and just bask in the glory of Christmas. Surround yourself with those you love and the rest will seem to take care of itself.