Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I love this time of year. From the first of October until the first week of January we were either preparing for the holidays or enjoying them. This is the time I began to think about what cookies and candy I'd make for the season. When our children were at home and small, this was the time we thought about Halloween costumes and how we would decorate the house. Oh, we did decorate, fake tomb stones, skeletons on doors and windows and lighted jack-o-lanterns on the porch. By the middle of the month, we were looking for the perfect pumpkins to carve. Christmas shopping began about this time. At least lists were compiled.

After Halloween, here in the states, we began to prepare for Thanksgiving. When I was much younger, HA! when I was a little kid, my grandmother, who always provided the turkey, either selected the bird from her own flock, or later, when she stopped raising turkeys, bought a live bird to fatten up. (I have personal knowledge of how mean a turkey can be and a few scars to prove it.) In Canada, Thanksgiving begins the holiday season, but their season begins the first of October also.

After Halloween and Thanksgiving, the Christmas season begins. That means decorating the house, starting the baking and listening to Christmas music at the mall. Then there was the wrapping of presents like the toy we got out of layaway. Yeh! I remember those days. I don't even think they do layaway today. You'll have to let me know if I'm wrong.

Our children were pretty good at ferreting out my hiding places for the gifts and few years ago, they admitted to unwrapping and rewrapping the gifts that went under the tree. But at the time, I only thought they had discovered my hiding places, looked at the name tags and figured out from the feel or size, what they might be getting.

To fool them, I devised a code to use, instead of the traditional name tags. Each package had a letter and a number which corresponded to my code, locked away in my desk. I thought I was so smart. Another HA! They unwrapped and rewrapped the packages. I should have taken the gifts to the neighbors to hide. I will have to admit they were all very good actors. They always pretended a lot of surprise.

I loved the smells of the season. The roasting turkey, the scents of pumpkin pie, the house full of the fragrances of cookies, the pine tree and the crisp feel of winter weather. One tradition that seemed important to our clan, was to tramp out to a Christmas tree farm to find the perfect tree. After the ritual removing of said tree, usually in a lot of snow, there was the trip to the restaurant for hot chocolate topped with marshmallow or whipped cream. The kids still talk about those trips. And come to think about it, I can't remember a "perfect tree." They either leaned a bit, or where too short, too tall, or too thin on one side. But with the lights, tinsel and decorations, they always looked wonderful.

How things have changed. My season now begins in September with the start of the football season. As the weather cools, the contests heat up and I follow my teams
carefully. The children are the ones who are buying presents, carving pumpkins and baking cookies. I get to sit back and enjoy football.

Of course, now my season doesn't end until the end of January, or the first part of February with the playing of the US super bowl for the pro players. Oh, I do bake a few things, but cookies and decorating no longer form the center of my activities. My Saturdays are spent in front of the television watching my favorite college teams. I also follow my favorite pro teams.

Yes, I love this time of year for a different reason. Do I miss the way it used to be? Nope! I love the memories, but I don't miss the work one little bit. And I'm delighted to be able to say, my teams all won this last weekend.

Allison Knight
"Heart-warming Romance with a Sensual Touch."


Linda LaRoque said...

Your kids sound like me, Allison. I've been know to peek at the gifts before Christmas. It is such an exciting time for kids.

I love the air in the fall. So crisp and fresh and the colors are so warm.

Big Mike said...

I too luv this period of the year. I adore the crisp bite of the morning air, the palate of colors when the day comes alive and when it sheds its last breath at twilight. Ah, and the fall colors. Many of my stories occur in the fall cause I fell so enriched and alive during that period across my life.

Michael Davis (Davisstories.com)
Author of the Year, (2008 and 2009)