Now that we have all eaten our Halloween chocolates for the year, the last few holidays of the year are nearly upon us.

This is supposed to be the merriest time of the year, and yet, some of us find it to be an especially hard time of the year. Not everyone has that perfect looking or acting family that are portrayed in all of those tear-jerking commercials. And not everyone’s problems work themselves out in the weeks leading up to the holidays the way they do in those holiday movies that have become almost a cottage industry.

All of that forced jolliness from the commercials and the movies can make a person feel like taking an Alka-Seltzer and going to bed till February.

Before you hit that three month long snooze button, try just stepping back. It really isn’t about the gifts or the over processed, theme-park quality decorating. It is about togetherness and sharing.

Many many years ago, my mom and I would get up really early on Black Friday and go out to all of the sales. We would plan for weeks what we were going to spend our small Christmas budget on. I remember those days with such fondness not because of what we bought, but because of the time we spent with each other in the freezing cold. The excitement on my mom’s face when she would find a coat for one of her sons or a record that another one would like. The way she would protest when I would walk away to put aside a few little things for her.

I remember wrapping sessions when we laughed about always losing the tape and how we could always tell who had wrapped what without looking at the tags. I remember holiday cooking sessions when things burned or didn’t turn out right and the laughter through the tears and the hugs that made everything taste better even if we had given in and settled for bacon sandwiches.

As this crazy season descends on us, remember the things that you love the most about the past holidays in your life. I bet they have very little to do with perfection and everything to do with humanity, yours and that of the people around you.

Happy birthday to Gary Allenbaugh, Debbie Watt and Lyndall Wilcoxon, all of Sherman; Rachel Hinsley of Sadler; and Weldon Darr of Denison.