Holidaze Must Do’s

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By Heidi Hess

The fan for my laptop kicked on.  This is my cue to take a break.  She’s tired.  I’m tired.  But there is still so much to do.  I was knee deep in researching all of the things happening in and around Wellington in December.  I wanted to present the good readers of Around Wellington with a fun list of Must-Do’s for the holiday season.   It’s December in Florida and making the holiday season merry and bright doesn’t just happen.  It takes effort!  Is Sandy the Christmas Tree making an appearance in downtown West Palm?  What about Hoffman’s Holiday Lights?  We have gone every year for, well, years.  It’s one of our family holiday traditions. Then there’s the tree lighting at the Flagler Museum and the Holiday Parade in Wellington.  There’s a lot going on.  Which weekends are we going to fit all of these things in?

Then there’s Christmas shopping and decorating.  Ryan (my son) wants to construct a winter wonderland in the front yard.  Michaels and Home Depot are frequently on our shopping rotation this time of year.  Green and red ribbon – check!  Extension cords, green and white duct tape – check!  Large candy canes the size a four-year-old will light up and line the drive way giving Santa a lit run way to land his sleigh on Christmas Eve.  I can’t help it… as we place the last strand of lights, the last candy cane and plug everything in, the kid in me screams “Santa!  Over here!!  I’m here! “ 

Starting the day after Halloween, it’s usually a fast and furious ride to January 2nd.  It’s the season…the kids and I call it Hallgivingmas.  I have also come to know it as BlurFest because everything, quite honestly, is a blur.  So I sit here, coffee in hand staring down the proverbial barrel of what looks to be one of the busiest times of the year.  And according to Hallmark cards and Publix commercials “the most wonderful time of year to be shared with family and friends… making memories that will last a lifetime.”  It makes me wonder – what will my kids remember about the holidays?  Will they remember everything that we do?  Will they remember the rush to get the car parked so we can get inside and see.. .whatever it is we are supposed to do or see?  This thought gives me pause…and I hope it makes you pause too.

I could give you a list of fun things to do but instead let me give you a real list.  Things that will help us slow down and create those real memories that will stay with our kids.  Make cookies, don’t freak out over the mess it makes and give everyone a spatula to eat raw cookie dough.  Get Frosties and ride around your neighborhood looking at Christmas lights blaring holiday music.  Make a note to remember the kids favorite Christmas songs. Take your kids for a walk in the park during a really good cold snap.  Hold their hand and make a note to remember how their little warm hand felt in yours.   During the week, take the kids to see Santa without being dressed up.  Watch their little faces light up…take the time to absorb it all.

If I could give you one thing this holiday season, it would be to slow down.  Set your priorities.  Figure out what is really important and pour all of your time and love into those people.  Life is short and time with our kids is shorter.  Time is a gift and that’s why it’s called the present.  And that is my wish for you.  That you are aware that this time, the present, is the actual present.  But if Santa wanted to leave a little blue box under the Christmas tree, I guess that would be OK too.  Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy New Year! 

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Super Mom by day, feisty writer by night.  Heidi Hess, a 40+ year resident of Palm Beach County, considers herself a native.  In her spare time, she dabbles in writing, painting and loves to travel.