Well, there's no turning back. This is it. The holiday season of 2011 is officially upon us. Tired of turkey yet? Me neither.
Anyway, while some braved the crowds of Black Friday, there are clearly several of us who's Christmas and holiday lists are far from complete.
Not sure what to get for the special persons in your "nice" column this year? Well, there is certainly no shortage of preferences from our young'ns.
For Owen Bloss, the adorable 3-year-old son of my pal Jessica of Beloit, the list is short but sure.
"I want Xbox, Mommy," he replied when asked. Though Jess protested that he might be a little too young for such a choice, he explained, without hesitation, "No, I need dis."
Ah, of course, the primal desire for males to play video games. It spans the ages.
Because for Michael, the 10-year-old son of my friend and Howland native Joanna Dascenzo, the list is longer but contains greater flexibility - if not a familiar theme.
"Oh, I have a ton of games I want. Let's just go to Game Stop today," he suggested. When Joanna pointed out that they'd already visited the day before, Michael's logical reply was: "So? They're still open!"
Indeed, he sees no issue with patronizing the place today, tomorrow and literally any and every other day it's operational. Over Joanna's objection that, you know, it costs money every time they enter the store, Michael tossed more reason his mom's way.
"Um, hello? I can just keep trading in my old games for new ones," said he. Well, he's got her there.
As for my own little angel, whose birthday happens to fall during the same month as the most wonderful time of the year, another decidedly certain submission. And again, no surprise on the premise.
"Xbox Live, Mom. End of story," nearly 12-year-old Kyle told me. Must be genetic, gals.
Sigh. Pretty sure they're all unfocused on that whole reason for the season.
And that brings me to my own list - which, by the way, got checked off on Thanksgiving. Because that was the day that Kerry, Kyle and I enjoyed at Oglebay Resort taking in the amazing sights and sounds of the nationally-renowned Festival of Lights.
Not only were we blown away by the 76 displays along six-mile-long route which boasts more than one million lights and spans some 300 acres, but we were also delighted by the scrumptious goodies in the Gourmet in the Gardens specialty store and the fabulous shopping in the Carriage House Glass and Palm Room greenhouse.
Every square inch of that place is dripping with lavish holiday sparkle and glitz; it's truly something everyone should see at least once. The hour-and-a-half wait for dinner (with reservations!) wasn't the best part of the trip, but I digress.
But the real treat? The memories we made.
At first, I was unsure of being away from our extended family on a holiday because I didn't want to disappoint anyone back home.
But the wide-eyed look on my son's face as we slipped beneath the festival's lighted snowflake archway; the belly laughs we shared as my husband tried to coerce a lemur out of hiding with a yodel during our visit to the Good Zoo; and the fun we shared picking out a few special Christmas gifts for our baby great-nephew Trevor - well, these are a few of my new favorite things.
If only we could've brought along our puppy Monnie, it'd have been perfect. Sloppy and crazy, but perfect nonetheless.
Yep, methinks we just started a Kimerer tradition. Happy beginning of the holidays, all!
Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist. Contact her even if you're stuck on the naughty list at firstname.lastname@example.org.