Another holiday whirlwind

The whirlwind of yet another holiday season has once again come and gone. Each year, the holidays seem to come earlier and earlier, and yet it still seems to be over all so quickly, at least for me.

It seems like just yesterday that we were having a disagreement in our newspaper office that it was “too early” to start playing Christmas music. For the record, any time from November on works for me.

All the build up, and rushing around and all the stress of shopping for the “perfect gift” and then stressing that you may have spent too much money all seems to go by in the blink of an eye.

Christmas morning arrived at our house around 6 a.m., well at least for our 12-year-old. Her teenage sister had to be awoken around 7 to come open presents because the pre-teen simply couldn’t wait any longer.

Even our dog was into the opening of presents this year. It was almost as if she knew it was time to open gifts, as she quivered with excitement. You see, chewing the balled up wrapping paper into a million tiny pieces is one of her favorite things to do for some strange reason. She never touches the presents under the tree, but once the paper is off, she goes bonkers.

We also have a dog that loves to destroy her new chew toys in a matter of minutes. Anything with a cute stuffed critter on it is gone in no time at all. And yet strangely, she never touches any of my daughter’s massive amount of stuffed animals.

Once the cyclone is over, the calm that follows is always so very peaceful. Or perhaps it is because the coffee simply hasn’t kicked in fully and my wife and I are operating on far too few hours of sleep?

Taking down the Christmas decorations is always my least favorite activity of the year. Growing up, my father simply couldn’t wait to get the tree down and restore order to our living room. Usually, the tree came down the day after Christmas.

Today, my dad uses a miniature Christmas tree with only a handful of ornaments and even that appears to be too invasive as he suggested to his grandkids on Christmas night that they could help him pack the tree up. My youngest, who shares my love of all things Christmas, was appalled at that idea saying “It’s Christmas!” So, he relented (at least until after we all went back home).

We put off dismantling the decorations in our home until the New Year, but once all the presents are gone from underneath the tree, it doesn’t hold that same magical quality. All the joy and excitement that goes into putting ornaments and lights on the tree is absent when it comes time to pack it all up. The kids love to unpack everything, as they search for their favorite ornaments.

Not surprisingly, my “helpers” who are usually very eager to help decorate the tree are rarely around when it comes time to take it all down. That is probably a good thing though, as my wife says no one can match my “system” of packing things away. Or maybe that is just her way of getting out of having to help?

From all of us here at the Houlton Pioneer Times, we wish you a joyous and prosperous New Year.

Joseph Cyr is the senior reporter and sports editor for the Houlton Pioneer Times. He can be reached at 532-2281 or by email at jcyr@bangordailynews.com.

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