Ready Or Not:
The calendar has turned. My desk is still a mess. And who really cares about making resolutions anyway?
Amidst the hustle and bustle, the furious flurry of the final few weeks of December we somehow managed to get to 2017. I remember so clearly when we left the 1990s – the whole 20th century – behind and moved in to that dreaded Y2K. Yet 2000 came and went, we arrived in the 21st century and the first 16 years of this century have truly flown by.
The holidays were hectic, but involved much sharing of laughter and hugs, giving gifts both from the heart and a few of the lighthearted variety for work and various family exchanges. Last year at one family gathering where there were ‘gag’ gifts, I got an oversized coffee cup. That in and of itself is not bad, considering my affection for the caffeinated brew. It just happens to be fashioned in the shape of a giant toilet. Needless to say it is utilized as more of a decorative piece than a functional one.
Now we are all just trying to catch our breath and get back into the routine. Here at the newspapers, we had two back-to-back weeks of early deadlines, jumbled up production schedules, people fitting in a day off here or there – it was a little crazy. Throw in a pair of holiday celebrations amongst it all and it makes your head spin. We’re all looking forward to getting back to the ‘normal’ routine, whatever that is around here.
If there was one word for me to sum up the holiday season, though, I guess it would be grateful. Even with all the topsy turvy schedules and trying to coordinate four different stops on Christmas Day after being at two separate events on Christmas Eve, yes, there was a real feeling of gratitude. I was grateful that my daughter and I were included on the guest list of so many celebrations, that I got to spend time with both my stepsons and share the holiday with them. Grateful that, even though my daughter and I didn’t get to ride around Christmas Eve admiring the decorated homes, she did get to share that with her boyfriend – maybe it will become their new holiday tradition. We did reminisce about it though, remembering when she and I would head out every Christmas Eve, originally with her riding in her car seat in the back, ‘oohing’ and ‘aahing’ at the brightly colored lights, clapping with delight at her favorites.
New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day in my childhood also bring back great memories. My older sister, brother and I spent many a New Year’s Eve at the roller skating rink, the ‘go to’ place when we were young; they had a party that lasted until midnight, which we loved. If it wasn’t too snowy or icy, we got to go. New Year’s Day, my brother and I looked forward to going ice fishing with dad, while mom watched the Tournament of Roses Parade and put together a new puzzle she had received for Christmas. There were also the years where we spent a good portion of the day visiting with friends, who had moved to upstate New York from ‘the city’ – originally just there on weekends before making the move permanently. It seemed like there was always a construction project going on at their house, it was in a state of constant renovation, but all work stopped on New Year’s Day and we just enjoyed eating, talking, laughing … some watched football, some of us headed upstairs to play with the Christmas gifts they had received. Over the years we gradually lost touch with that family but I hold dear those times spent together. When it comes down to it, that’s what the holidays are all about – making memories with friends and family, the kind that you can dust off from year to year, letting them warm your heart as you remember them with a smile on your face.
Here’s wishing you a great start to the New Year and a happy, healthy and memorable 2017.
Marg Jackson is editor of The Escalon Times, The Oakdale Leader and The Riverbank News. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.