I’ve heard some friends say that now that we’ve had a snowfall they can start shopping for Christmas and put up their tree and other decorations. When my kids were little, I bought Christmas all year round, except for the clothes I could get for them. It was usually a November or December purchase. It seemed that each of them would have their maximum growth spurt from September to December.

As far as decorating, my late husband and I tried turning on the outside lights right after Halloween, did a quick check on the lights to make sure all the lights were working, but didn’t turn them on until the night after Thanksgiving. Meanwhile I decorated the inside of the house to have it ready for lighting at the same time. Most years I planted 12 trees, one in each room. Now that it’s just me, I hang wreaths on the front and back doors, a centerpiece on the kitchen table, and decorate a table tree.

But the priority for most families this week is getting ready for the annual Thanksgiving dinner. Moms/wives are checking their pantries to make sure they have all the supplies to cook the ham, turkey, sweet potato casserole, baked corn, cranberries, green bean casserole, stuffing, yeast buns , fruit salad, pumpkin pie and candy bars and any other favorite foods in the family.

Most families will gather on Thursday to celebrate and watch football games. Some will meet on Saturday or Sunday next weekend and maybe some today. When and where you gather, enjoy your time with family.

My cousin, also alone, invited me to her son’s yesterday for a party that included friends and some family members. I accepted the invitation on the condition that they have a television so I could watch the Ohio State/Maryland game. As I write this Tuesday, they assured me they were working to make this possible as we gathered in the communion room of their church.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, it doesn’t necessarily have to be celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. Since it is advertised as a day of thanksgiving for blessings, any day can be Thanksgiving. Do you have or do you know a single elderly person? Get a plate of food to share with them. It will make their day.

I have to admit that I started watching the Hallmark Countdown to Christmas movies this week. I figured it’s cold and snowing, so there’s no better time to kick back and binge watch movies.

I have a friend who had knee replacement surgery three weeks ago today, then went to a nursing facility for two weeks of rehab. The day before her release, she tested positive for COVID-19. She wasn’t the only one in the facility to test positive. More than 60 percent did, and the entire facility was locked down. It seems like this has become a weekly tip from me, but this disease isn’t going away anytime soon. Please practice good hygiene, sanitize countertops, door knobs – anything that would be touched by many, and wear a mask. Be careful.

Let me leave you with this quote from Anne Frank: “No one ever became poor by giving.”

Until next week. Happy Thanksgiving.

Brenda Donegan is a former Marion Star contributor. Maybe she reached brendadonegan55@gmail.com.

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