Here are some signs that I know it's the holiday season.
1. There's Christmas music playing on the stereo. After 20 minutes, Mary tells me that there's only 1 or 2 more Kenny G. songs remaining in the playlist. We'll do an iTunes shuffle on that list tomorrow. Oh, good, here comes the Brooks and Dunn section.
2. The big wreath is hung above the garage door and smaller ones are hung on the front door, the gate, and each of the front windows. The spotlights are aimed and the white candle lights are positioned in the windows. With these simple additions, our plain, out of proportion exterior glows with a new warmth in the cold night air.
3. The garland has been unboxed and strung up the stair rails, across the tops of the kitchen cabinets, and over the fireplace. This simple addition always seems to transform the inside of the house.
4. And the bears have arrived. Mary and I made two long strings of these paper cutout bears probably twenty five years ago. We didn't have much money for decorations, but we did have some brown paper grocery bags, some colored markers, a pair of scissors and a free afternoon.
Over the years, we've lost a few of the bears, but there are enough remaining to bring a smile to my face as I add a new set of tape loops to their backs and hang them above the doorway. Welcome back, boys. It's good to see you, again.
Now, where's the eggnog and fruitcake?