The Holiday Season

Although I would prefer to have summer year-round, my second most preferred time of the calendar year starts tomorrow and stretches through the first day of 2013. I am talking about the fast paced, joyful holiday season starting with Thanksgiving week and running through New Year’s.

Let me just start by telling everyone to wake up tomorrow feeling rejuvenated and excited! We are entering a fun time of festivities, celebrations, days off, family, good food, and terrific sporting events. So hold onto your seats, get some discipline, and get your holiday game face on because it is time to get rolling!

Tomorrow is the start of Thanksgiving week. The work/school week goes by in a flash as many people just have to work Monday through Wednesday (including yours truly this year). The anticipation and excitement of seeing family and having a few days off is enough to put almost anyone in a good mood through the brief three days. After clocking out on Wednesday, it is time for the Turkey Day holiday to begin. Many people, especially the younger crowd, take Thanksgiving Eve to have a good time both reuniting not just with family, but old friends, as many community bars have celebrations that bring lots of folks together. Then of course Thursday comes and it is Thanksgiving! Definitely a great day to just relax, watch football, and partake in a great feast. I love Thanksgiving because it is just so relaxing and chill. I love the aroma that fills up the house and the peace that engulfs me.

I love Thanksgiving and I love my mom!

Then, in a complete reversal from the low-key, stress-free day of Thanksgiving comes Black Friday. Although I shake my head at the shameless commercialization of the day after Thanksgiving, I do usually find myself going to the mall just to be a part of the craziness and to kind of laugh at the people who really do treat it as if it was the last day in the world to ever shop again. Although I like to be part of the mania, I can only take so much of it before I become bored and irritated…thus the reason why my brother and I always find ourselves in one of the mall’s bars watching football while the rest of the family shops.

After Black Friday comes the holiday weekend. Most people just take this Saturday and Sunday to chill out, watch more football, and eat leftovers. This year, I will leave Spokane on Saturday morning so I can return to Missoula early enough to prepare for the men’s basketball game we have that night and then to work it at 7 p.m. Kind of a nice mix….spend half the 4-day weekend in Spokane with family and then the other half in the Zoo working Grizzly basketball and hanging with friends.

Once the Thanksgiving weekend concludes, it is time to enjoy the Christmas season. From late November to December 23, it is truly a special time of the year. Christmas music, Christmas parties, Christmas treats, Christmas decorating, and plain old Christmas cheer dominate the several weeks leading up to the actual eve and day celebrations. During this time, my brother and I take our annual holiday trip to Las Vegas. Nothing beats seeing Sin City decked out for Christmas! If you have never experienced Las Vegas during this time of year, I recommend it. The weather is cooler, the crowds are not as big, and everyone is just more chill. But let’s keep moving on, I can save this for another blog post.

Everyone should go to Las Vegas during December.

After all the Christmas build up, it is finally time for the holiday itself! Christmas Eve and Christmas are two very special days. Many people count Christmas as their favorite day of the whole year. Family traditions make these days so special and fun. But besides the unique things that go on inside each individual household, it is comforting to just sit back and realize that the rest of the nation is celebrating the holiday as well. The country takes a chill pill and shuts down a little bit and everyone takes time to enjoy the very special and meaningful day. I leave work on December 23 and travel to Spokane to my parents’ house. After hanging out with my brother and our old friends on that night, we travel to Walla Walla, Washington, on the morning of Christmas Eve and spend that day and some of Christmas there with our extended family. We then travel back to Spokane and open gifts on Christmas night.

For me, Christmas is all about family.

Many people take the week between Christmas and New Year’s off….well at least all of my favorite sports talk radio hosts do! Personally, I work that week but I am still in holiday mode! Besides working the Post Christmas/Pre New Year’s week, I watch A LOT of football. All of the less prominent bowl games are played on these week nights but I love the match ups and watch anyway. Also, many shows air that countdown everything that happened in the past year. The year of 2012 has been HUGE and I can’t wait to see all the recaps and lists that will commemorate it. This in between week is just nice because people take it a little easier, knowing that it is still the holiday season and a good time to recover from Christmas and to gear up for one last hurrah.

Finally, it is time for the New Year’s Holiday. I don’t have a set routine that I do for NYE or for New Year’s Day but I always make sure to have a great time. I don’t think I have done the same thing for New Year’s Eve once over the past six years but I always make sure to spend it around people who are special to me. When it comes to New Year’s Day, I just got one word for you: FOOTBALL. I love watching all the college bowl games that day, especially the Rose Bowl game, my all-time favorite college football game! I also use it as a day to diagram in my head what my goals are for the new year and to just feel fortunate for what I got.

So I hope I got you excited for the holiday season. I mean it though, enjoy these upcoming weeks. The holidays are a great time to create memories, do special things for others, enjoy family and friends, and to patch up any rifts you might have with others. I know that many of my readers (including myself) are fortunate enough to have a place for the holidays with people who love and support them. Let’s not take this for granted! Starting tomorrow, make 2012 the best holiday season ever. Don’t Blink.