UNITED STATES—I am so happy October is behind us because the month of November is the official kickoff in my opinion for the holiday season. The pumpkins and candy are out and it is time for Christmas lights, decorations, cookies, shopping, gifts, Santa Claus, family, food, cooking, parades and helping those in need. If you’re not in the holiday spirit, it might be time to get into rather you like it or not. Why?

The past 2-3 years have been tough with the Coronavirus pandemic. Lots of people have died, lots of people have gotten sick, we’ve been isolated, we’ve had to socially distance and if that was NOT enough, the punch of inflation has struck a lot of Americans in recent months far worse than we could ever imagine. Tough pill to swallow, without a doubt America, but that doesn’t mean you cannot celebrate the remaining two months of the year.

I have always been a fan of November and December just because I feel like at its core family because front and center. Bonding with your loved ones, sharing memories, making memories, telling people you love them and not being afraid to give to those who are in desperate need. Yeah, do I wish more Americans gave a lot more the rest of the year and not just around Thanksgiving and Christmas? Absolutely, but that is how the world operates sometimes. You have those great highs and you have those great lows, I tend to see the best in people around Thanksgiving and Christmas.

For me, I’m a gift giver. I love Christmas and the thought of giving gifts and putting smiles on the faces of my nieces, nephews, siblings and parents are a great bright spot in my body. However, I will admit just like everyone else, inflation is hitting my wallet so I am cutting back a bit. Instead of purchasing multiple gifts, I will be purchasing one gift for everyone on my list. I do believe in the past I have gone overboard, so I’m ok with taming things down a bit to focus on the real meaning of Christmas: to give, not to receive and to not do so in excess because sometimes we do it a bit more than we should be America.

My family is already starting to discuss and plan what we’re going to do for Thanksgiving after years of not celebrating because most of us have jobs where unlike most Americans we actually work. So when we work the holidays it is not easy to get together. With all the health crisis’ that our family has encountered in recent months we realize the time to spend with family is more potent now than ever before. The annual Christmas lighting event is upon us where we will share cocoa, having marshmallows, marvel at how beautiful the city is and see people bond with families.

I’m ready to get out the Christmas tree, I’m ready to decorate the tree, put up the Christmas lights outside, the snow, the shopping at the mall or outlet and taking the time to just enjoy hot chocolate, peppermint bark and the festivities that come with the holidays. Time is short, you never know when you time is up and when you realize that you come to the realization that you have to make the most of it as much as you can people.

Written By Zoe Mitchell