It’s dark way too early… I can’t wake up late or I lose daylight. If I lose daylight my mood darkens with the night. I peer into my office and do an about face. The room is full of unwrapped gifts waiting for me. They scorn my procrastination crying, “Wrap me, make me pretty.” Long rolls of gift wrap paper are propped against the wall. Do I have enough tape, ribbons and bows? Where are the good scissors? This is a task for two people. My husband wraps – I record and write the cards. For some unknown reason, he always starts wrapping at night when I’m ready for bed.

My list includes people with names I have difficulty matching to faces. People involved in the care of my special daughter. I rarely see them because she lives in a group home. Just small tokens of appreciation for their hard work. So many too thank, the super whose labor is especially hard in the winter snow months, the postal worker who is so sweet and reliable, ladies who help me maintain my home and my health all year round and I mustn’t forget the lovely lady who does our nails and paints little designs on my daughter’s fingernails. She loves her.

Thank God for online shopping. It feels like December came swooping down like a hawk after its prey. It’s my most dreaded month of the year. I put my hands to my ears to block out Christmas commercials that come earlier and earlier. Of course, there are high points, getting together with friends and relatives, I have a passion for potato latkes, not to mention egg nog. I’ll worry about the weight I gain in the Spring. It was more fun when the girls were young. We celebrated both holidays, Chanukah and Christmas. The children were drunk with presents. We spent ridiculous amounts of money. Now most have moved into adulthood and are spending on their children.

I don’t want to sound like Ebenezer Scrooge. The holidays do light up an otherwise dark time of year. Consumerism has taken away some of the shine of the season. I’m grateful for all I have and aware of the many who need cheer. Happy holidays to all and good night.