Northeast Michigan's jewels always shine, but come the day after Thanksgiving each year they also twinkle and glitter with the holiday lights of the season, especially Alpena's holiday parade tonight.
Years ago Alpena Lena, as we love to refer to her, wrote a letter to the editor to the newspaper suggesting the community switch its parade from Friday morning when a lot of people are working, to Friday evening instead and make it a lighted parade.
Parade organizers and chamber of commerce officials agreed the idea had merit, so they tried it and, well, the rest is history.
Ever since the parade was moved, the region seems to glow even brighter. Communities all across the region seem to glow as well this time of year with their own Christmas displays and special holiday festivities.
Truthfully, we would think it hard to be a Scrooge tonight at the evening parade.
Today ushers in the official start to the Christmas season. However, we recommend that instead of treating it like a sprint and getting tired and winded quickly from all the hustle and bustle, instead consider it a marathon and pace yourself with a more reasonable approach to shopping, decorating and baking.
Savor the season and all it has to offer this year.
Enjoy the tranquility the holiday lights offer. In a month where stress can quickly creep in if not watched closely, the lights can be a calming alternative to an otherwise chaotic timeframe.