As we all turn the page on the wall calendar to a new month filled with pictures of brightly colored leaves, scarecrows and pumpkins, it occurs to me that I have reached a new milestone; and personal best and set a record that should be publicly noted: This is officially the longest I have ever KEPT A CHRISTMAS TREE ALIVE! I would never say that I have been a huge fan of Christmas. I don’t have children of my own, so at times Christmas seems like a lot of hubbub-aloo. –Bah Humbug, right?

And yet, there it is: A 3 foot Norfolk Pine in my kitchen still covered in lights and glass ornaments. (Side note: This may also be the longest I have gone without breaking an ornament.)

Before you send in the holiday decorating police, understand a few things:
1. I don’t turn the lights on every night and hope for gifts in the morning (although that would be nice!)
2. It’s not plastic. It’s a living tree.
3. It’s not covered in sparkling Suzie-Snow-Flake dolls. It’s decorated with ornaments that look like fruits and vegetables (which makes it a little easier to pass off in the summer)
4. The lights DON’T blink

I am pretty sure no one wants to think about Christmas at this moment. I know I haven’t even decided what I am going to be for Halloween (of course I dress up for Halloween!). Tonight, I am thinking about the impending holiday rush that will consume us all in a few weeks. Today I was reminded why I am so fortunate and why I love my job. Today I was invited to a staff lunch meeting at Child and Family Services of Cape Cod to discuss CCB-Media’s plan for our annual “Christmas Wishes” holiday drive.

Last year, with the combined help of 999 The Q, Cape Country 104,, Child and Family Services and SO many people like you -from one end of the Cape to the other, we were able to provide Christmas to over 130 families who were having a bad year. (I don’t like saying “needy”… Sometimes you just have a bad year).

From toys to books to clothing to gas and grocery store gift cards and even furniture, we watched the whole community pull together and make what could only be described as a Christmas Miracle. This year, we are hoping to help at least 200 families!

At this staff lunch, I heard stories, for the first time, about how our gift drive lifted the spirits of so many families. I was also given a sneak peek into a few lives we will likely help this year: A single father who works full time in order to keep a roof over his head and provide food and clothing for his son. This father describes his son as his “every breath”. This father tries to shield his son from the realities around him and even protect him from his extended family’s problems. This father is already concerned he won’t have enough money to keep the dream of Santa alive for his son in a few short months.

It’s October 1st and the store displays of Trick-Or-Treat candy are steadily being eclipsed by candy canes and reindeer PEZ dispensers. Like everyone else, I will publicly complain about retailers rushing us through the seasons. Personally, I prefer Halloween to Christmas, by the way. At home tonight, though… in the quiet of my own home… with soft music and the wind blowing leaves around my back yard and a calendar with a fat happy jack-o-lantern by my head, I am gazing into the reflection of jewel-colored lights through my glass of wine and daydreaming about a father watching his young son rip into brightly colored packages filled with new clothes and toys and maybe even a bicycle…

I wonder, have I managed to keep a plant alive, or have I managed to keep the spirit of Christmas alive?

About Cat Wilson

Cat Wilson is "That Girl" on Cape Country 104 – a Cape Cod native and longtime Cape radio personality. She is a passionate supporter of Military and Veteran causes on the Cape and also hosts local music spotlight program, “The Cheap Seats” on Ocean 104.7.

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