Saturday, November 1, 2008

November, an exciting month, begins!

November has arrived and the arrival is a weekend, too. I love November. It was in a November many, many years ago that a wonderful young woman and I began talking about getting married. The following November turned out to be one of the greatest of my life as I turned one day and saw the most beautiful sight I had ever seen walking down an aisle to become my bride. That was 47 years ago this month.

November also has a holiday that serves a three-fold purpose. First and foremost, November 11, Veteran’s Day, honors all the great men and women who have served in the Armed Services of the United States. We have special honors for those who have died while doing it. It has not always been called Veteran’s Day as it started out commemorating the end of World War I. It evolved into honoring all veterans in all wars and peacetime. They are all the real heroes of our times and we salute and thank them for their service.

It is also the day that began GW’s and my lives together. We had chosen this holiday because in the jobs we had, we both would always have the day off. There was a short time when Congress changed our wedding anniversary to the last Monday in October. It was not a popular change and was returned to Nov. 11th.

Finally, it’s the day that we begin our annual development of the year’s Christmas Village display. It takes nearly two weeks to put it all together and we aim for the weekend following Thanksgiving Day to complete the project. This year, because GW had an idea for a base change, we started earlier than usual, but it’s now in hiatus until Nov. 11th.

But that’s not all for November. In a few weeks we’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving Day on the fourth Thursday. That happens to be the 27th this year. It’s a great day for families to get together and enjoy a feast of the season. We’ll probably have more about this holiday later in the month.

The day after Thanksgiving is called Black Friday in the business world. It begins the traditional shopping season for Christmas and has, in the past, been the busiest days of the year for store’s cash registers. With the economy the way it is this year and with huge discounts now being offered both in stores and on the Internet, we’ll probably still call it “Black Friday,” but it may not be the busiest day this year. Nevertheless, for us older folk, that day will still start the Christmas Season. I have seen that many stores, though, already have Christmas stuff in full display.

Back in 1960, the year I returned to the Portland area, one of the jobs I had was as a Santa’s Helper in a store front on Congress Street, then humming with shoppers. It was long before the Mall. The Chamber of Commerce had asked that only one Santa Claus be available that season and the Portland Press Herald ran it in a vacant store in Downtown Portland. Santa Claus was a giant of a man with a real snow white beard and a Scandinavian accent. He was magnificent. I was his helper.

But that’s a story for another time. This weekend we’re beginning this year’s end of the year funfest of activities. We’re also seeing the final weekend, thank the Heavens for this, of the election activities. I, for one, will be so happy when Tuesday comes to an end. Nevertheless, please be sure to vote. It’s also the weekend we begin Standard Time for the winter and early spring. Remember, we turned our clocks back one hour this weekend.

I hope you enjoy yours and we’ll be back again on Monday.


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