Holiday season

FI-EditorialChristmas time is here. Happiness and cheer. Yes, there’s plenty of that in the air right now with a whole slate of events planned throughout town, but don’t blink or it might be gone.

It feels as though the accelerator pedal is really down on the holiday season this year. Maybe it’s because Thanksgiving was so late this year, but it feels this year that the turkey wasn’t even cold before it was time for Santa and the reindeer and all the fun that goes along with them. That’s a good thing, because there’s a reason this is such a beloved and festive time of year. But does it have to go by so fast?

This weekend alone we have the Greenwich Town Hall tree lighting on Friday and the Byram tree lighting on Saturday. And when you add to that the annual Holiday Stroll on Saturday and Sunday as well as the Old Greenwich First Light festival then you have a seriously packed couple of days chock full of holiday cheer with more ahead in the coming weeks. Perhaps eventually there will also be time to take a breath.

Everything is so compressed this year, as a look at the calendar will tell you. There are only three weeks until Christmas, and while that might seem like a lot of time, it’s actually not. This season is going to be over before you know it and then it’s New Year’s and all the expectation, excitement and even nervousness over what 2015 might bring us.

That means it’s up to us to get the most out of this season while we can. Don’t leave yourself feeling, “Awww, Christmas is over and I missed it.” Get everything out of it that you can over these next three weeks. That doesn’t mean scheduling yourself for so many events that you end up needing to sleep until Valentine’s Day. It means remembering what this season is all about.

This season, no matter if it’s Christmas or Hanukah or anything else, is about having fun, spending time with your family and with friends and loved ones. It’s also about giving. This past Tuesday was something called “Giving Tuesday,” which was a nice contrast to “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday,” because it was a day dedicated toward convincing people to give to charities that need help. It was a plenty worthy endeavor, but there’s no reason to limit it to just one day.

That’s the very best way to make the season meaningful. There are local organizations in need of help and national charities, too, that depend on the generosity of people, especially at this time of year. It’s up to you where you want to give and how. Pick the cause of your choice and do it because you want to do it.

The next few weeks are likely going to be a blur for many people, between holiday parties and trips to the mall and online hunting for bargains. The pressure is on and the clock is ticking. Many already feel they’re behind on everything. That’s why it’s important to take some time to decompress and focus on what’s really important.

There are (literally) so many bright and shiny lights to overstimulate us this year. And if we become overwhelmed by it all, the Christmas season will be no fun. That would be a shame, because there’s already so little time for us to simply be nice to each other and spread good cheer. So remember to take time and relax, to give in important ways and spend time with family — and most of all, have fun.

That’s what this season is all about.

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