**It’s the most, wonderful timeeeeee of the year**

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It is October, I LOVE October! October 1-December 31 is by FAR my favorite time of the year. As soon as October comes I just get really excited, almost giddy. I love everything about fall and early winter.

It begins when the nights start getting cool. I’m immediately taken back to high school. Sitting on our covered porch, wrapped in a blanket, hanging out with my friends. Laying on a trampoline in the backyard in the middle of the night, staring at the stars. Hanging out around someone’s bonfire after a Friday night football game.

Then the leaves turn… yellow and orange. Ironic because I hate the color orange but I love it in nature. I think the leaves turning is so much more beautiful than any flower in the spring. Apple cider, hay rides, picking out pumpkins, and HALLOWEEN! My birthday is just a few days before Halloween and I’m sure that is part of why it is my favorite holiday. I’d always have costumed birthday parties, and some years we went to “boo at the zoo” or haunted houses. I think I went trick-or-treating every year until I was 14.

Next is Thanksgiving. I love my big family and Thanksgiving is always such a fun time. It is often the first time I’ve seen many of my cousins since the Christmas before, and it is so great to catch up with everyone. We make the rounds at everyone’s house and hit the Black Friday sales at 5am. It isn’t even about what we buy, really. Usually we don’t come home with much more than an average shopping trip, but it is such a fun tradition with my mom.

All of a sudden the Christmas decorations are everywhere and the shopping in earnest begins. If Halloween is my favorite holiday, Christmas is a very near second. Is it just me or is everyone a bit happier in December? We are hopefully getting the first few big snows, and Frank Sinatra sings everywhere. I get to put up a ridiculous amount of decorations and figure out the perfect gift for everyone. There are cookies to bake and parties to attend. Christmas morning is always bittersweet because I know it means the end of this season is near. We get one last hurrah with New Years Eve… and then back to work and cold. I always thought that they should move Christmas to February or March, just to spread out the season… but I don’t think history is on my side here.

As this fall starts, I am just incredibly grateful. I have a lot of good things in my life, and I’m in a really good place. Only time can tell… but I have a hunch that this is going to be a really good year for me.

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