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Seasonal Gifts

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The calendar has flipped to November, but the weather seems stuck in October. The trees stubbornly cling to their leaves, though the vibrant reds have faded to rusty browns. Halloween already feels like a distant memory. The decorations that transformed our neighborhood into a playful haunted landscape have vanished.

In their place, homes are about to be adorned with strings of lights and wreaths on doors as the holiday season fast approaches. The race toward Christmas has begun. Yet part of me wants to cling to fall like the trees clinging to their leaves. I’m not ready to let go of sweatshirts, football, hot apple cider, and cool evenings. The coziness of the season feels like an old friend I’m not ready to say goodbye to.

My wife loves this time of year—the twinkling lights, the gift buying, the general feeling of joy and togetherness. For her, it can’t come soon enough. It also means her job ramps up to eleven with a pace that is indescribable to someone outside of her day-to-day work. Meanwhile, I want to slow time down to enjoy the coziness of fall for a bit longer. But time marches on indifferently.

Walking the dog this morning, I was bundled in my jacket and hat, the cold air nipping at my face. The time has changed, so it’s still as dark as night at this early hour. Lost in thought, I almost trip over an uneven sidewalk slab. A reminder to stay present, to enjoy the beauty of today instead of dwelling in memories. The air is clear. The leaves are still hanging on for a little longer—a gift to be appreciated.

As I round the corner back towards home, a few brave houses have started their evening holiday lights. And I have to smile. Their enthusiasm is contagious, even if I’m not quite ready myself.

Walking back inside, I kissed my wife, and we chatted about our upcoming day and weekend. Maybe this Sunday, we’ll pull out our decorations together. I still want to hold onto autumn for a few more weeks, but before long, twinkling lights and Hallmark movies will fill our home, too. The seasons change; time moves forward. But the holidays have their own magic, especially when shared with those you love.

For now. I’ll enjoy the coziness of today, this season’s gift to be appreciated in its own ephemeral way.

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Consumed in Key The leaves on our trees are turning a bright red. There was a rush of cold air for a few weeks, and it felt like Fall, but today, it’s going to hit
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