Mt Pleasant News
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Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 8, 2016

Hello, December — where is the snow?

By Steph Tahtinen

By STEPH TAHTINEN

Mt. Pleasant News

I love this time of year. The world is full of lights, carols, decorations and snow.

Well, maybe the world here in Henry County isn’t quite full of snow yet. For a girl raised in Wisconsin, the fact that we have reached December without snow on the ground is unacceptable. It hasn’t even gotten cold enough yet to haul out my winter coat or hat. The weather outside has definitely not been frightful. However, there is hope. I hear the weather reports say we should have flakes by this weekend. Please don’t let me down, Mother Nature.

It makes me jealous when I talk to my sister, who lives in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and she’s been walking around in a winter wonderland. All I can do is dream of a white Christmas.

Yet, despite the prevalence of grass still present, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. And I love it. I find myself going to the stores and roaming around the decoration aisles, soaking in the season — the reds and greens, silvers and golds, that strange, spiced aroma that these aisles always seem to contain.

Christmas has always been my favorite time of year. However, I’m one of those people who likes to respect the turkey and will not allow myself to decorate or sing Christmas carols until after Thanksgiving is over.

So, the Saturday morning after Thanksgiving found me decking my halls. Well, actually, I was decking the 6-foot tree I had set up in the corner Thursday night.

I don’t remember it being so difficult last year.

The lights wouldn’t cooperate. They were being stubborn — first they looked sloppy, and then when they looked decent they only covered about one-third of the tree. Apparently I did not inherit my dad’s ability to hang Christmas lights. Or maybe I just need more experience. After all, this is only my second year doing this, and they say that practice makes perfect. But I’m not a very patient person.

After my frustrating third attempt, I finally called dad. I’m not exactly sure how I expected him to help, as a tutorial over the phone was not overly effective. He was able to give me some tips, though, and after a few tries. I eventually got them to look halfway decent.

The ornaments went on much more easily, with only one small incident. Who could have predicted that I would have dropped my Snow Baby ornament my aunt gave me last year at the exact right angle so that it would bounce off of the power strip lying on my floor, causing its little outstretched arm to be amputated.

Thankfully, a little super glue surgery and a night spent on the kitchen table cured the little guy (or is it a girl? Snow Babies are kind of gender ambiguous) and Sunday I was able to put it in the spot I had saved on my tree.

Another aspect of this season that I love is the entertainment provided through holiday specials. The classic claymations and sappy made-for-TV movies have become a part of my tradition, as I sing along with the misfit toys, cry with Karen as Frosty melts inside the greenhouse and cheer as some Scrooge finds the true meaning of Christmas by spending time around children.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.