"Breaking with traditions this year, because why not?" by: Jessica Shepard

 With a summer that seemed to stretch on forever, 2020 has an autumn season that’s quickly picking up speed.
   Or, maybe it only seems that way to me.
   With Christmas décor and entertainment on standby, my mom is barely going to make it to Thanksgiving without putting her tree up.
   Usually, I’d throw a bit more of a fit since it violates our traditions to put it up too early and completely throws off my holiday groove.
   But, with the way this year has been, I’m pretty much giving up and will help her as best I can because Christmas time is her favorite holiday to celebrate.
   I don’t think Mike was so keen on it when I came home from covering a meeting and happened to see him stuck watching “The Grinch.”
   Watching is sort of a misleading word; he was completely buried in his cellphone and surfing Twitter instead of fixating on the TV.
   I was only too glad to be able to take the remote reigns of the TV and navigate us to something much more entertaining – “The Mandalorian.”
   I’m down for anything “Star Wars” related and mom has this fascination with “The Child,” or as the Internet dubbed it – Baby Yoda.
   As it stands, I’m trying to find a new Baby Yoda tree topper for our “Candyland” tree and haven’t had any luck.
   The hope is that if I can find one, then mom will buy it and we’ll finally have a topper for that tree instead of a sad, floppy bow and random floral picks.
   Though I don’t think that will work since she vetoed my request last year for a “Mario” star and a neon star the year before.
   Regardless, the trees are set to go up before turkey day and mom’s even excited about decorating outside this year.
   I’m not exactly on board with that last part because it requires more work to get things ready outside than inside.
   Not to mention, thanks to my sister Ashlee, we’re rotating out big tree theme this year.
   In the past few years, we’ve used a Renaissance/old world sort of theme and have spent some time rounding up enough ornaments to complete the look.
   But, Ashlee has requested for us to use our winter/icy ornaments and decorations this year.
   We used to call it the “Frozen” tree before the Disney movies were a thing and now the term causes images of silly reindeer and animated snowmen.
   So, we’re leaning towards “Icy Winter Wonderland” as a theme and will be decking the tree out in blues, silvers and frosted glass.
   Luckily, we also have a large, bright snowflake topper for that tree or an angel dressed in white – I’m leaning for the snowflake because it’s brighter.
   Still, we’ll just wait and see what happens, though one thing’s for sure, putting the tree up before Thanksgiving means there’s less of a chance to get glitter in the leftovers.
   Nothing is as gross as glitter in food aside from sand at the beach.  

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