Well, it's November 1 and the holiday season has officially begun. I for one am already starting to get the holiday jitters. Fortunately, my Tony and I had long ago cut ties with the commercialism of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Our focus was on experiencing the "true" meaning of the season. For us that meant reaching out to friends and family with gestures of love...i.e. a visit to the nursing home to cheer up a family member or baking cookies with grandma and grandpa, etc. Of course this will be the first year in over 48 years that we wont be celebrating the holidays together and already I'm dreading the next two months. I know some family members and close friends will be disappointed but my children and I have already decided to forego the usual festivities. Of course, my sons will still do what they normally do for the children....and grannie and auntie will be delivering our gifts as always....but no large dinners or gala affairs this year. We just concluded our hearts would not be in it and we just don't feel like spending hours and hours of pretending everything is alright when it's not. Tony was always such a big part of the holiday spirit. He was really the one who tackled putting up the lights outside and decorating the tree. My daughter and I have decided to do some decorating but it wont be on the scale that we usually did. We just want to keep things simple this year. I know others may feel differently but we just feel this will be best for us these first holidays without him.