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December arrives today. Check off another circle around the sun. Most of us got a year older in 2018. Generally, a desirable outcome, even though we typically moan about the advancing of our age.

Oh, December, the month of anticipation. What would we do without ya?

When I was in retail sales, a cliche floated around the store to the effect, “We open year ‘round so we can do business in December.” I found that statement to be somewhat factual as sales always peaked during the days ahead of the New Year. But, looking back, I probably didn’t enjoy the falling snow as much as I ought to have.

For the spiritual, December ushers Advent to the front of the church, a time of preparation to celebrate an anniversary of a significant birthday. Check my math. If alive today, the Messiah would be, what, 2018 years old? Would that qualify for a discount at a drive through? Would the DMV require an eye test to re-up the license? How about a dedicated parking slot in front of the convenience store?

These are the type of questions December brings, dear reader.

This twelfth month encourages reflection, too.

Now if you are an anal type, you must have written done your New Year’s goals. Since you have those—and know right where they are—how’d you do? “Nothin to it, got it done?” Or “Lost my scheduler. Was on my scheduler. Can’t do goals without my scheduler.”

Loser.

If you are not an anal type, you may skip reading the preceding seven lines. Would have been a waste of your time, because we know your types can’t even remember November.

Capital “L” loser.

Regardless of your December perspective, know that it’s not too late. Enjoy the weekend snow—appears we may be in for a fair amount of it. Dust off the holiday music...dance in the kitchen.

Sure, the seasonal ringing cash register intones a song of profit. But giving is part of the refrain. Who doesn’t like presents under the tree? Memories galore.

Giving...December’s treasure.

Anticipation and reflection—the two cousins of a healthy life—produce joy, appreciation and gratitude. Don’t wait until December 25th to invite both to your table.

It’s not too late to do that something you promised yourself you would do this year. Write that letter to your favorite teacher. Reach out on Facebook to a former classmate, even if he’s holed up in Russia. Introduce yourself to the new neighbor who moved in around June to the house cater-cornered from your place.

Sip the cocoa. Slowly.

Write down a favorite family story this afternoon. Then tomorrow, another. By next week, you will have booked precious family memories. Some day, some time, those writings will be so important.

December is a time to do good. Because, as we all know, January is coming.

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Don Cunningham of Fremont is a freelance columnist.

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