By Guy Chapman – Navarro County Gazette

Good grief, next week is Thanksgiving.

This time of year seems to pass faster the older I get. Once my own September birthday passes, it’s already time for Halloween with hints of Christmas (which already starts making its presence known in July).

Thanksgiving barely has time to establish footing before Mariah Carey starts belting out Christmas tunes. “Black Friday” may as well not even be on a Friday anymore. By the time Christmas is over on December 26, we’re already setting up for Valentine’s Day with hints of Easter and a few St. Patty’s shamrocks thrown in for good measure.

To date, I’ve yet to establish if there’s a prize giveaway for blasting through “the most wonderful time of the year” as fast as possible.

I’m admittedly looking forward to these next two weeks. I’m going to enjoy the extended weekend with extended family before I put any heavy thought into Christmas. But the tree lighting and parade are this week, and lights are already popping up around the neighborhoods, so I’ll enjoy the extra color in the meantime. Last year went well enough for my family, but it was kind of a bust with all the canceled events due to the health climate.

Christmas time is already here, but I’ve made the resolution I want to enjoy it this time.

I’m not doing the family cooking this year (though I have submitted my application for the meal’s quality assurance). I’m going to enjoy time with the kids. I’m going to set aside a bag of turkey for the dogs. I’m going to light my tree and attend events and look at lights and watch Elf and It’s a Wonderful Life until late December. I’m going to spend less time fighting store crowds and avoid Valentine’s Day cards until three months from now.

I think it’s a fair request. I want to enjoy the next few weeks of “Peace on Earth and goodwill towards men (and women)” because I think I… we all have earned it.

So enjoy the big meal next week. Pull out those family ornaments that used to be your grandmothers. Kick back with some eggnog and watch Chevy Chase lose it when his lights don’t work (he actually broke a finger in that scene, for some random movie trivia). But make the time.

Sure this time of year gets a little nuts, but just take a moment to breathe and enjoy the ride.

I’ll see you at the finish line….

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