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You Cannot Hold Back the Holidays

I heard Christmas music playing in a store at the mall this week. The shopkeeper had the place festively decorated with trees, garland, and ornaments. I left because I could not stand the idea of beginning to celebrate Christmas when it is not yet Halloween. It seems way too early in the year.

Except that it is not. Although I am not yet ready for this, I must be mindful of the looming mega-holiday. Every year I compose an ancestor’s character sketch as a Christmas gift to distribute to relatives. I write and illustrate it in November, and November is just a week away.

This year’s chosen ancestor is my second great-grandfather John Davis Riddle (1821-1896). I must wrap up my research on him over the next week. I have spent the last ten months searching for information but still have not learned anything about his life prior to his 1843 marriage in Summit County, OH. My character sketch will have to begin there.

In my own way, then, I too am preparing for the holidays although it is still October. It takes time to draft the composition and plan the layout for my work. I need to decide which documents and photos to include. My husband/tech advisor needs time to get copies printed in color. I must schedule a visit to the post office to mail out the completed stories.

I may not feel ready for all the Christmas holiday turmoil, but Christmas gifts are a different matter. Some take time to plan and prepare.

I even yearn for a special Christmas gift, and I do not care if it arrives early. I would love to get a DNA match to a descendant of a sibling of John Davis Riddle so I can place him in his natal family. For that, I would even celebrate Christmas in July.

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