With snow on the ground and Halloween behind us, it appears that retailers would like us to be full steam ahead for the holidays. Stores are already decked out with their holiday decorations and most of them were that way well in advance of Halloween. I say it every year to my kids, give me a list — tell me what you want because I don’t want to get caught up in the craziness that becomes the holiday season. Today is November 1st and in the blink of an eye, we will be turning the calendar yet again.

Central Cemetery on All Souls' Day

Image by rwhgould via Flickr

Today and tomorrow are the holidays of All Saints Day and All Souls Day — reflection and recollection of those who are no longer with us. It is hard to embark on the journey that ends with Christmas and New Years without reflecting and remembering those who are no longer present to share those holidays with us. In my own world, Christmas and my dad are pretty much one in the same; it is hard to not think about him during the holiday season. Christmas was indeed his favorite holiday, Christmas Eve was the night he proposed to my mother and he was such a kid with presents. In many cultures and countries, on November 2nd people visit the graves of their deceased relatives to remember and reflect. My dad’s grave is hundreds of miles from where I live today, but he and my grandparents will be remembered as if I were there putting flowers on the spots where they rest.

As we enter the beginning of the race toward the holidays pause to remember what the holiday season is all about. Friends and family — those that make us smile, regardless of where they may be today.

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