Inside Tribune Chronicle world headquarters, high atop the second floor, I sit facing a row of windows that look out over the Warren skyline east of the police station.
Through these windows I can see large fluffly objects falling from the gray December sky, like small balls of cotton drifting carelessly in the wind with no direction and no destination.
This is winter in northeastern Ohio and will continue to be until late March. Then, as is usually the case, we will get a stretch of nice warm 50 degree weather just in time for the Indians' season opener when it will snow one more time.
It is a sight that those of us who have lived in northern Ohio for any length of time have become very used to. I have lived in northern Ohio for my entire life, give or take six months, and the approach and duration of winter never comes as much of a surprise.
Knowing this, two weeks ago when it was unseasonably warm in the 60s and the sun was out, my wife told me that she thought it would be a good idea to get up the Christmas lights early so I wouldn't have to do it in the cold and snow.
I laughed at this request, telling her that it was not time to put up Christmas lights and that she was just trying to trick me into putting them up a little earlier this year.
Well, it is now time for me to put up those lights and it is 30 degrees, windy and snowing.
I refuse ... refuse to say that my wife was right.
If I were to tell her that her logical reasoning of the situation made so much sense that I can't believe that I ignored it, she would know that I do realize that she is smarter than me and that I should in fact pay heed to her every now and again.
The truth of it is, if it weren't for my wife I would never put up a Christmas light or a tree or anything that resembled a holiday decoration at any point in the year.
I love Christmas and to be honest, I like all the decorations and festivities that go along with it. I just don't decorate.
In my old apartments and places where I lived before getting married, I was never one to decorate.
Anyway, the question that I have for all this holiday season is, why do we do it?
Why do we climb up on the roof of our houses, something that we would not dream of doing any other time of year, and string up lights?
Why do we have deer made out of thin metal and wrapped with lights in our yards?
And why in the world do we have giant inflatable snowmen, Santas and Homer Simpsons in front of our homes?
I think the first answer is because it is childlike.
As far back as I can remember, my father and mother used to load us up in the family minivan one evening close to Christmas and we would drive around and look at lights.
It became part of the tradition of the holidays, and now that I have a chance to start my own traditions for my family and my son, I can't wait to do the same.
I think it is also a chance for us, and this is mostly for guys, to show everyone in our neighborhood and the surrounding areas that we have the best display in town.
The Jones' have an actual reindeer ''lowing'' in the front yard ... well, then I am getting an actual Santa to sit on my porch with a spotlight on him and a cellist playing ''O Holy Night'' on a loop.
That is an exaggeration, but I think you understand my point.
My house is a canvas for my creativity, a.k.a. my wife's creativity, to take shape.
To me, however, the reason for all the work of decorating and carrying tubs of bulbs and wreaths (and pine cones that smell like cinnamon that will not lose their odor no matter how old they get) is because it is the one time of the year that we can enjoy the wonder of the Christmas season however we want.
I love pulling into the driveway of my house seeing it all lit up and decorated like the houses I used to see as a kid. The house smells of pine and cinnamon and is warmer than at any other time of the year.
Also, it's pretty.
So this weekend I will be on my roof, dressed as warm as I can, setting up a million lights for all that pass by to see.