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December 15, 2011 9:07 am

You better not pout: It’s a good thing: December marathon under way

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December better have broad shoulders and a thick skin.

You could argue that no other month is called on to produce so much — clear days, frosty nights, festive holiday parties, a feeling of brotherhood and peace on earth — not to mention a beautiful snowfall right on cue for Christmas Eve.

Thirty-one days for all we have to get done: Select and pay for, or chop down, the perfect tree. Light up our houses with strings of light (no burned out bulbs.) Write dozens of holiday cards detailing our successful year.

Did you know that all of us have kids who scored both straight A’s and overtime winning soccer/basketball/football/volleyball goals? We all enjoyed great success at work, winning awards, free trips, bonuses and wide accord. At home, we remodeled our kitchens with stainless steel and installed water features in our backyards.

A whirlwind of holiday joy begins for everyone on Dec. 1, starting with two dozen delicious cookies/cupcakes/doughnuts, perfectly decorated in time for the school holiday party and ending 31 days later with delightfully festive hors d’oeuvres and a gala countdown to midnight to see in the New Year.

In our spare time, we artfully arrange poinsettias around our fireplace, use glitter and pipe cleaners as the perfect holiday centerpiece and simmer wassail on our stainless steel cooktop.

And cope.

The music of December is designed to evoke strong feelings. We are called home, even to homesickness (“I’ll be home for  Christmas, if only in my dreams.”) At that home, we will be surrounded by a strong, loving family where all are of good cheer, like a Hallmark commercial.

It is, after all, the most wonderful time of the year.

And that home will be clean, tidy and well-organized, with plenty of everything for all who need. (“Make your house fair as you are able, trim the hearth and set the table...”)

So there we are, in our happy homes with our happy relatives. December is well under way.

Now we are left to ponder the mystery of the big man. No, not that one in the red suit. Frosty the Snowman. He was made of snow, but the children know how he came to life one day: magic.

The same magic that makes the snow of our receding youth colder and deeper, the Christmas trees taller, more fragrant, with real candles on the branches and lovingly wrapped packages piled higher beneath. Did it snow for six days and six nights when I was 12, or for 12 days and 12 nights when I was 6?

But Martha Stewart doesn’t live in our neighborhood and is not likely to drop by to whip up the perfect pie crust or even scrub the kitchen floor. We’re on our own.

Are we?

December has 31 days. That should be enough for us to cook a dinner, call or write to someone we miss or who misses us, shovel the neighbors’ driveway. Bake some cookies with your kids, the grandkids, the neighborhood kids. Watch an old movie. Go to a school or holiday concert — they are free and offered Tuesday and Thursday nights through most of December. Northwest College also offers several holiday concerts and programs.

Even the Grinch eventually figured it out: “Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas ... perhaps ... means a little bit more!”

Have a holly, jolly Christmas.

It’s a good thing.

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