Chamber Made Column

Chamber Made Column

Chamber Made Column

Dec. 9, 2017

The True Spirt Of The Holidays Is Strong

I knew it the second I saw it. On my way to a noon meeting in Lyndonville, I was driving by my usual Christmas tree lot on Broad Street and saw the perfect tree leaning up against the stand, all while going 35 mph. The second I got out of my meeting, I rounded back to the lot and grabbed the tree and a beautiful wreath, decorated in a large, red-plaid ribbon, festooned with pine cones. I knew then what I would be doing this weekend.

This holiday season has been unlike any other to me. I am battling with every cell of my being not to cancel the holiday season altogether. This is what, I am told, happens with fresh loss, especially when celebrating “first” holidays. What I have decided to do, instead of giving up, is to go big or go home. Let me explain.

In the past, the tree would be no bigger than my 5 foot 5 inch frame so I could reach the ornaments on the tree. Not this year. The tree is almost two feet taller. Gone is our usual angel topper, for this year alone, and a gorgeous glass star will spray beautiful rays of light down on a dark room. I bought twice as many lights and four more boxes of decorations. I cannot wait for our cats’ reaction to this year’s creation. “Is this for me?! Has Christmas come early?”

Although I have one less person to find presents for this year, and that saddens me greatly, life must go on. It must. I absolutely enjoyed going through every artisan’s booth at the Burklyn Arts Fair last week, purchasing some of the most unique gifts I have purchased in quite some time, what I call “legacy” purchases. Such a gift is something that will stand the test of time, a piece that, I hope, is handed down to one of their children. Those are the type of gifts you can find, easily, in the stores and crafts shops of the Northeast Kingdom.

I plan to drink egg nog for the first time in years, maybe even add some “Irish” to it, play in the snow and loudly sing along to Christmas carols, in the car and at work. I would do it at home if not for the howls emanating from our German Shepherd…. I don’t need critics at this point on my singing.

While it is harder this year than most to embrace the season, to shake myself from my comfort zone and embrace the change that has been cast upon me, I think it will help me survive the holidays, with a smile on my face, no less. Please do not be surprised if one of you is the recipient of a snowball fight. As you clear snow from your face, please know that it is all part of my healing process.

This weekend, after the tree is decorated and the egg nog is purchased, I want to head out on the road and go in those shops and stores and pay the little extra it may take to bestow a cherished gift to friends and family. Amazon, be damned. I hope my purchases will warm the hearts of my circle of love, not to mention the homes of the store owners and artisans, long into the winter.

I have always loved the holiday season. You might be able to tell it from the 40 holiday CDs in my possession, the two trees at work and the decorations that will soon greet my house. Overkill, perhaps, but this year is one I want to be memorable, as I am celebrating it for the two of us.

(Darcie McCann is the executive director of the Northeast Kingdom Chamber of Commerce.)



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