When I was a child the holidays were vital to the family “core”. We were required to eat Thanksgiving dinner together, regardless of how many locations due to divorces, and then we all sat around and talked. This always led to laughs, arguments, more laughs, and eventually hugs goodbye. We only had a few weeks before round two so we wanted to “up” our games.

A week before Christmas we would put up and decorate our tree. One present was opened on Christmas Eve and as a child you always hoped for something other than socks. Christmas day was once again filled with family and friends, laughter and arguments. College aged kids were making plans to see friends during the week home. Things were simple.

Today however I feel that this mad “rush” of holiday merchandising has reduced the importance of family and friends to a price tag. Holidays have transformed into a warp drive. Want something next day, delivered to your doorstep? We can do that. Why have we let Thanksgiving dinner be all about planning for shopping? Terrible. One of the worst things I witnessed this year was when holiday decorations were already on clearance two weeks before the actual holiday? Holy smokes, what is the rush?

For many of us who experienced Hurricane Florence, our internal calendars are a bit off. Seeing the leaves just now turning reds and oranges, the odd azalea that is blooming, and the return of the dreaded mosquito does not feel like winter. What season is it exactly?

Maybe, just maybe, if the rains will let up and we have a cold snap in February and a spring with lots of pretty blooms (I don’t know if these plants will regenerate that fast) I will start to feel like things are getting back to normal again, but I’m not sure.

Several of our friends and neighbors are still not back in their homes. We can’t forget that. Our coming rental season on the beach may have more demand than supply if homes aren’t fixed and ready to rent.

These are simple facts.

Remember knowledge is power but it is important that we remember to be kind and patient and to focus on what really matters which is the people around us and not the things we buy.


Dorothy Royal is the owner of Surf City Guns and Ammo, mother of two wonderful children, ringmaster of a herd of miniature ponies and an avid member of the Surf City Writers Group and Topsail Book Club.