It is seasonally cold, we have had rain and wind, and I am still waiting for the snow. To me, it makes the holiday season official. I was one of those kids who got a toboggan for Christmas and used it a lot. So, that would make me happy. Then it can go away.

Happy birthday to all who celebrated their day this past week. Big balloons go out to Rosalia Apaza Pillco, Shamere Coke and Hudson Lowry, who all celebrated on Dec. 18; Asaph Braz and John Lynch on Dec. 19; Kaua Abreu on Dec. 20; Emanuelly Assis and John Moriarty on Dec. 21; Griffin Buehler on Dec. 22; and to Caleb Miller who celebrates on Dec. 23.

Three months ago I put out the warning that Christmas was only 12 Fridays away. I know that on the other end people were sighing, saying “I can’t believe she wrote that” and I thought the same thing. Well, guess what: it's here. I, like many, am still running around gathering presents. I needed a couple of more gift bags and when I was in the Stop & Shop two days ago there were so many bags to pick from. Well, in two days’ time, the area was empty. I guess I am not the only one who is last minute.

Traditions always fascinated me at Christmas. Some people put up their decorations over Thanksgiving weekend while all the family is home; some wait until Dec. 1; and there are those who wait until Christmas Eve when some families decorate it together or Santa decorates it the way he wants. I don’t know how he delivered presents and decorated but I was always impressed that he could do it all and still say ho ho ho.

Before we moved here, my parents let my brothers and me decorate the tree. It would go well until the tinsel and we would stand all over the living room, throwing tinsel at the tree and watching it land wherever. We would say it made it look natural. Of course, my mother was not convinced, as there was just as much on the floor ­— and if you remember, it was not that easy to clean up. It was fun and a memory I will always remember and smile.

When my brothers left for the service, it was just my parents and me to decorate and put the candles in the window. The front window on the right side of the sidewalk would always be a candle with a white light. This was put there to guide my brothers, who were both in the service, home safely. As there are still many people serving our country, I to this day still shine that white light, hoping more will come home safely.

Whatever your tradition is, or where you spend it, I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas, happy holiday and good cheer. Safe travels to those who are visiting families and please remember your neighbors and the elderly who may be alone during the holiday. One phone call could make their day a better one.

Have a great week and keep the home candles burning.