Reflections on the Holiday Season and Planning for 2016

As I recently walked the worn gravel paths on our family farm, I was reminded that while some things never change there is a vein of gradual differences that emerge each Holiday Season.  We usually begin our “preparations” before Thanksgiving (a topic for another day), activities grow daily through Christmas and then wane sometime after New Year’s Eve.  This year is no different than so many years past.  The preparations, traditions, and buildup are basically the same, but the live characters have changed throughout the years.  As it has always been, those who are no longer here are always remembered but somehow seem be slowly replaced by new family members and friends. Weathered decorations that still made the cut provide a historical perspective even while new trendy Holiday items are scattered into our holiday mix.  The world’s problems that are solved over late night adult beverages have changed, but our passion when we talk about the problems remains very much the same.  The Holiday Season will come and go, with usual decoration and fanfare and for many, the reason for the season will remain at the forefront of our minds.  As I reflect on the words and phrases that highlighted our Christmas season, I wonder how different my reflections are from yours?

  • Family and Friends – in all sizes and sometimes unexpected — Children, Grandchildren, nieces, nephews – all the little ones who will someday rule our world
  • Cinnamon and Spice
  • All Shades Red & Green (both new and old)
  • Pine Cones and Wreaths and Candles
  • Gatherings, Parties, are just a reason to get together with friends and families
  • Snow & The “Great Hope” for Snow (something all Southerners appreciate)
  • Travel, busy roads, flight delays, and the usual anxiety associated with “who will be sitting next to me?”
  • Neighbors bearing gifts
  • School Break, Vacation Days, and College students returning home tired from finals
  • Food; including Mystery Foods – the same dish that shows up year over year… but no one really likes
  • Football – Bowls & Playoff Hopefuls
  • Laughs
  • The Grinch
  • Pictures
  • Uncomfortable Folding Chairs
  • Kids Table (including the anticipation of graduating to the adult table “Will this be the year?”)
  • Change of Seasons, the Shortest Day of the Year & The Beginning of Winter
  • Prayers for Peace and Safety for our Military, especially those who won’t be with family

This was the warmest Holiday Season in years, and the air was reminiscent of storms – all too odd for this time of the year.  So now that the holidays have passed, my mind has begun a transition from the baking, preparations for 20+ people at our traditional Christmas Eve dinner, late night gift wrapping that I can NEVER seem to get in front of, and cleaning the house TO thoughts of the beach.  So, isn’t there something missing from the Holiday Season list?  I think so….

  • Planning for Our Carillon Beach Vacation!

Hope you have Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for a great New Year to you and yours.  We look forward to seeing you at Carillon Beach in 2016 – it is going to be a great year!

Tammi Thomas