It’s December and the Christmas season is upon us once again. It’s time for the grumpy among us to start complaining about the music, the snow, the crowds, etc. However, I really enjoy this time of year and view it as a nice diversion from our regular daily lives. I like the different music, and the snow, but not the crowds, only the collective excitement of the season. People are on a mission. I don’t care for the commercialism, true, and so I try to keep my shopping low-key. I try to keep a “let’s count our blessings” perspective going with the kids. When I go to the stores I have a plan, I know where I’m going and what I’m looking for, and gone are the days of schlepping from store to store until my feet are screaming and my temper is flaring. I also try to get the kids minds off the merchandise they hope to receive and get them to enjoy the other little things like beautiful Christmas trees everywhere, and decorations, the smell of pine in the air and the beauty of lights on cold, crisp nights. The elegant and the gaudy all come together for one shiny bright show. Okay, I like presents, too. I love the colorful wrapping paper, and tearing it up to reveal something that I really wanted, and it feels good that somebody knew me well enough to get it just right. In the end though, I love a peaceful Christmas Eve sitting by a lit tree, and sometimes I’ll take a quiet, late-night walk and see other lit trees twinkling through windows that have little electric candles glowing in the dark. The little things that you don’t find in the store…ya know?