The music on my radio, the wreaths on my house and the lights strung up around town mean Christmastime is here.
But for me, it's all about the tree.
The Fraser Fir in my living room makes my house smell like Christmas, and I smile every time I walk by it. And it reinforces my side of an annual mini-battle in Chateau Smith.
My wife was raised with an artificial Christmas tree that served as the centerpiece of her family's Yuletide celebrations. It was easy to put up, simple to take down, and left little or no mess in its wake.
On the other hand, I've spent my entire life around live Christmas trees. In fact, it has only been in the last couple of years that my parents started using fake trees - several of them in fact. But the centerpiece of the house is still the live tree in the dining room.
Just like at my house.
Take a sniff if you stop by. I promise it'll help you get in the spirit.
Speaking of the season, don't forget about McDuffie Regional Medical Center's Tree of Love.
Your gift of just $10 or more gets a light on the huge tree. For more information on how to dedicate a light on the tree, or to contribute to the program, contact Eva Newsome at 597-5408, or direct mail to: Tree of Love, c/o McDuffie Regional Medical Center, 521 Hill Street, Thomson, GA 30824.
Christmastime also brings with it The Mirror's annual Angel Tree - another opportunity for you to give back to the community.
The tree is already up in The Mirror office and the wish lists of local children are already in place. Come on by and make some child's Christmas dream come true. And look for more about the Angel Tree in next week's Mirror.
And if you don't want to take an Angel from The Mirror, give Kym Snyder, Fran Whittle or Tamica Collins at Partners for Success a call at 595-0467. They too have an Angel Tree and a list of local families in need this season.
In the meantime, make sure you make time to stop in at the Festival off Main on Saturday. The all-day Christmas celebration is the result of a lot of hard work by a lot of local folks - folks who just want to make Christmas in Thomson a little brighter. Thank them if you see them around the festival, parade and Christmas tree lighting. Your thoughts will help make their season a little brighter.
It was tough to hear the news Friday that Brandon Norman had passed away.
Brandon was a great young man with a strong spirit. He faced the struggles of the past few years with his head held high and a smile on his face. His life is an example of how each of us should face travails.
My prayers and thoughts are with his family and friends. God bless each of you.