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Pat’s Bit & Pieces– Getting ready for the holiday- 3 weeks left

Pat Maurer, Review Correspondent

Temperatures in the low 30s compounded by snow, then sleet and finally rain, have closed the area schools for the first time this year. It looks like winter has officially arrived again.

Well it is December,after all.

Jack informed me last night that Christmas is now only three weeks away! Seems so hard to believe it, and the end of 2013 is so close already…

Time goes by so fast these days. Seems like I was just writing about summer and it is already long gone again.

Our Thanksgiving holiday is over. It was nice having most of the family home for the day Sunday. We ate way too much and had a really great time together. Just wish the rest could have been here too.

We will get to see one more of the granddaughters this weekend though when Mandy arrives with her “almost finance” Max
from California for a week long visit. When I talked to her last, she mentioned planning a bike ride on the rail-trail. I laughed and reminded her that it might not be one of the things she wants to do while she is here, since it is December around here. Guess she had been in sunny California so long, she has forgotten what winter in Michigan is really like…

I am sure we will find lots of other things for them to do while they are here. Maybe we can all go Christmas shopping together, visit friends and family and have another family get-together. They are so much fun.

I am just not a very good shopper and dread facing crowds and long lines so taking them along should make that task a bit more fun. You would think I would get it done before everybody else, but unfortunately I am a lifelong procrastinator too – so I always wait as long as possible before starting.

Clare’s Christmas celebration is this weekend and lots of events are planned for Saturday, we certainly will have to take in some of that fun. I would much rather shop locally anyway so we can bundle a shopping trip with a picture taking excursion around here.

We will just have to hope that the weather cooperates with enough snow to make it look like the holiday season, but not so much that we can’t get out and enjoy it. Jack says the weatherman is forecasting some show showers later this week and more next Monday. He said up to eight inches… but we will see.

Winter won’t officially arrive for another two weeks, but here in the glorious state of Michigan, particularly this part of Michigan, it always seem to be a little early, while spring on the other hand, is always a little late…

I know that today (Wednesday) it is already above freezing and predicted to warm up even more before the day is out, so that should go a long way towards melting that now slushy mess on the roads.

Snow or not, the Christmas spirit is still alive in the area, as evidenced by the beautiful displays of lights we have been seeing around Clare. As usual, we are running a bit late with our decorations here too and hopefully will get the tree up and some lights outside by the weekend. Guess that will be another project for the granddaughters and for Mandy and Max of course.

Just writing about it makes me realize how much there is to do to get ready for the holiday. If your family is far away, like part of ours, it’s time to think about mailing packages out. We have some holiday baking to do and will have to send some of those goodies to Miami, California and Japan this year. The family sure is getting spread out.

And, just another little reminder… While you are busy planning and shopping and baking for the season, take a little time out to remember those who won’t have such a happy holiday, unless we help. Contribute something for our troops overseas. Drop off a toy in one of the Toys for Tots Barrels, or pick up a wish list from around town and make someone’s Christmas really special this year.

After all isn’t that what Christmas is all about?

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