Well, it certainly was a mild November here in the Leelanau. Not unwelcome, but a little eerie in it's oddity. The warm weather during the last full moon may mean the next moon will find us experiencing temperatures that continue to be higher than the average range expected. By now we should be ready for the winter that we fully expect to be right around the corner.

December 6th is Saint Nicholas's Day, a sadly under-rated holiday which helps to stretch out the season a bit. Carrots and hay are put in a child's shoes to be eaten by St. Nicholas's grateful horses, and a small gift is left in their stead.

Recognizing and celebrating what binds us together in this special place and sharing quality time with our loved ones all through the month can also help to relieve what many studies call Post-Christmas Depression. Something they claim affects younger and younger folks all the time.

Let's look past and through barking dog and clucking chicken Christmas Carols and flagrant commercialization to find the real reason for the season.

The 21st is the longest night of our year, the winter solstice, marking the turning point - the return of light. Here on the 45th parallel even the most infinitesimal increments are marked with rising spirits and returning energy.

The dark nights, clear and crisp, can feature the moon and stars at their brightest. The bare trees and barren landscapes bid us to bring greenery indoors, with evergreen boughs, wreaths and trees filling our homes with the scents of the deep forest.

Christmas Day-a happy time to celebrate the children in our lives (and our inner child!). Bake some holiday cookies, break out the Flexible Flyer and the woolly mittens, make some snow angels and snowmen! In other words...Play! Be happy. Be the peace and joy we wish to bring to the world.

Happy Holidays to all!

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