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“It’s a Busy Time of Year”

I am sure I don’t have to tell anyone reading this column how busy the Christmas season has become.  Decorations are put up in stores by Halloween and items are on sale by Thanksgiving.
Holiday parties from every direction are added to the schedule.  You don’t want to decline anything, whether it’s from your office, friends, church, or family.  
The food is wonderful, helping you to gain that seven or eight pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas that is acquired by the average American.  I think I am ahead of schedule this year.
Shopping for grandchildren is a delight, but gets more complicated each year.  How is someone my age supposed to know what the latest hot toy is this year?  I have discovered I just don’t know what is “cool” anymore, and probably haven’t for a long time.
Equally hard is trying to give a present to those that seem to have everything.  My mother is a great example of this type person.  She doesn’t need or have room for any more knick knacks.  I lucked out this year as she has a trip to Pasadena for the BCS Championship Game under the tree.  Don’t tell her.  It’s a secret.
Decorating the house also takes time.  Each year we add Christmas trees to our yard.  Probably fifty percent of the new lights we bought this year only partially worked, proving once again that you get what you pay for.
Throw in normal business activities, additional visits from family, and new mayoral duties and my brain hits its maximum capacity.   I think I reached that limit this week.
I took a nap in my office this afternoon.  I was sitting up on the couch and all of sudden I could not keep my eyes open.  Your body has a way of telling you it is tired.
Sunday I lost my favorite pair of glasses.  I always buy two or three pair at the same time, as this happens all year round, not just during December.  
Monday I lost my truck keys.   I had only gone from the parking lot into my office.  Where could they possibly be in such a short distance?  I came home expecting some sympathy from my wife only to discover that she had lost her car keys as well.  As of bedtime, neither set had turned up.
Our granddaughter is spending the night.  We had candy canes for dessert tonight, almost guaranteeing the sugar will keep her up past my bedtime.  She’ll wiggle between us in the bed until she wakes me up and tells me I snore.  We will do this all again Thursday night when Henry has his sleepover.  
The bottom line is that everything about this holiday season wears us out.  But looking at Laura watch the Charlie Brown Christmas Special, I know I wouldn’t have it any other way.
The mood is festive everywhere we go.  Families and friends gather more than any other time of the year.  The eyes of children shine with wonder everywhere you look.  The smell of warm cider fills the air as the fire crackles on a cold night.  
Tired, worn out, and frazzled?  Absolutely!  Worth it?  More than you can imagine.
Merry Christmas, y’all.
Dan Ponder can be reached at

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