As much as I hate when time changes, or daylight savings ends, I always love this time of year when the leaves change from green into red, yellow, and orange. There is just something about the autumn season with all the colors of the leaves and the crisp, aroma that flows through the air.
I make it a point every evening to go walk around my neighborhood twice. The first time is with my lab, Jet, and the second time is by myself. While I am out, my nose often gets filled with the many different aromas that remind me of my childhood. I have always loved being outside this time of year because there is something magical in the air.
The smell of fireplaces coming from the houses in my neighborhood at the end of the day takes me back to my grandparent’s trailer house in the woods of Custer, South Dakota. They had a wood burning stove and a small lumber mill in their back yard. The smells were intoxicating. Everytime I smell a fireplace here, I am immediately transported back there.
But it quickly leads me to thinking about Christmas, my favorite time of year. It is also my least favorite holiday because so many people have turned it into a “buy-this-buy-that” holiday. I hate that when I find something I want to get for the kids, I can’t because I don’t have the money. I hate how he magic seems to be tied to how much you spend on your loved ones. Yet I know that is not what it is all about. It’s about giving, loving and being together.
But then, there are the cookies and the candy and the lights and the decorations. I remember my uncle’s house being the best lit house in the neighborhood.
I don’t know about you, but I learned that there is a right and wrong way to put lights on the tree. I apparently do it the wrong way. I guess for whatever reason between my wife and my mom, I will never be able to do the lights right, which would be my way. See, my mom firmly believes you can never have too many lights and ornaments on a tree. She has been known to have over 2000 lights on her tree at one time. She has at least five sets just on one layer of branches. Her tree is so bright that you can’t see the tree they are on. You can almost see it from space. Okay, maybe not, but pretty close. And let’s not start on the ornaments. The tree has so many ornaments on it that it competes with the lights. My mom could easily decorate two more trees with what she puts on one tree.
Anyone else have moms like that? Even though it’s not how I would do my tree, I don’t think Christmas would be the same if mom didn’t do her tree that way.
It’s just part of what makes Christmas for me. The lights, smells and decorations, however, don’t make Christmas without the snow. I grew up with white Christmases every year. Then I came to the west coast of Oregon. I have seen it snow maybe twice in ten years and neither time was for Christmas. The snow really makes the magic.