Are You Ready for the Mad Dash to January?

US Wealth McCarthy |

I am fortunate to have my wife Margaret to handle most of the holiday details in our family.  If I were in charge, I imagine I would be like the Christmas version of Paul Revere, calling out, “The holidays are coming!  The holidays are coming!”

Happy Hanukkah to those of you who are already in the midst of your holiday celebration.

My own Mrs. Claus has some holiday reflections to share with you as you make plans for your 2018 holidays:

Will it be a mad dash to New Year’s Eve or a comfortable amble to the first day of 2019?  If you could design your ideal winter holiday season, what would it look like?  What events or traditions would you include or exclude?  Do you feel pressured to do it all or do you just want to run away to a deserted island until it’s over?

Last December, we had a surprise visit that dramatically changed our holiday plans.  Our daughter Meara, an Air Force Officer, showed up unexpectedly from Guam.  She was exhausted from her 14,000-mile journey.  Meara just wanted to stay home, hang out with us and her kitties.  We canceled our holiday plans.  She enjoyed catching up on TV shows and favorite holiday movies.  Meara loved shopping at the grocery store because it was fun to buy fresh vegetables and fruits, snack foods and new food items that were not available on her island.  Dunkin’ Donut holes were her favorites.  Her four days of leave raced by, despite our best efforts to hold on to every second.  Too soon, we were back to Bradley Airport to drop our Meara off for her long return trip to Guam.

This year Meara will be spending the holidays in the Middle East.  Two nephews will be in Afghanistan, and a niece will be serving in Korea.  The Army and Air Force will be making their holiday plans for them.  We will miss them all terribly and will pray for their safety and well-being, along with all our military and their families.

We cherish last year’s memories of our time with Meara.  It will be interesting to see how our holidays plans will evolve this year.  We are learning to be much more flexible.  It really isn’t about the plans and events, but the people you get to spend them with.  May your holiday plans include plenty of time with close family and friends.