It's easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle this time of year.
Christmas trees need trimmed, gifts need purchased and cookies need baked.
As we rush into a store we're too caught up in our shopping list and miss the sound of a bell ringing at a red kettle. As we hurry home from work to get dinner going we miss the twinkle of outside holiday lights.
If we succumb to that craziness, we are missing out on many joys this time of year.
Northeast Michigan's jewels always shine, but never so much as they do at the holidays. Tonight, with Alpena's Bolenz Jewelry Holiday Parade, the community will twinkle and glitter with the holiday lights of the season.
Years ago Alpena Lena, as we love to refer to her as, wrote a letter to the editor to the newspaper suggesting the community switch its parade from Friday afternoon, when a lot of people still 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. 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.