From the Editors: December 5, 2018
How the holidays never fail to stir up 'the warm embrace of kith and kin'
Christmas is right around the corner, and that's no news. As soon as Halloween closed its coffin, you could hear it being punctuated by sleigh bells (sorry, Thanksgiving!). It was easy to deny for a bit, but then pretty soon we had the first big snowfall so early in November. At that point, it was at the very least on our mind. The Christmas creep came early, as it continues to do inch by inch every year. December, however, is when you're almost legally required to get into the holiday spirit.
Pretty much the entire month of December has been systematically engineered to make you happy. Pavlovian memory triggers can be found for all the senses. Red and green everywhere in sight, the smell of pine needles, the taste of candy canes, the feel of warm mittens, and that inescapable music.
We recently took a poll and asked some of our readers to name their favorite holiday tunes, and we were met with unmitigatedly happy responses. Memories and reactions to these kind of things are overwhelmingly positive. Much like music, the thoughts of some movies give us that welcomed comforting feeling every time.
"General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere," explained a fake prime minister as he talked about the arrival gate at London's Heathrow Airport.
"This is Christmas, the season of perpetual hope!" shouted an exasperated mother, desperate to see her son, this time at a closer airport, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International.
"It's the time of miracles. So be of good cheer," reasoned a mysterious German to his associate Theo. This time in a tall building in Los Angeles.
"Lovely, glorious, beautiful Christmas, upon which the entire kid year revolved," an unseen man explained, looking back on his life as a child growing up in Hohman, Ind. (though his house was actually located in Cleveland, Ohio).
"The most enduring traditions of the season are best enjoyed in the warm embrace of kith and kin," opined a happy father embracing his family, about to take home a Christmas tree.
There are so many things to do around the holidays. This issue, Matt Swanseger tackles the Yuletide calendar, in search of the best seasonal reasons for getting out of the house.
Perhaps you, like so many others every year, are moved by the charitable spirit that wafts among these candled nights. Ben Speggen takes a look at a couple of places you might be inclined to help out at, and how that help affects their business throughout the year.
As 2018 comes to a close, Liz Allen looks back 50 years into Erie's history, to reflect on how things have changed, and in some cases, stayed the same. The feeling of nostalgia that we have during the holidays can be undeniable sometimes.
It's hard not to succumb to the good tidings. And aside from being contrarian, you're probably better off not fighting all of it. Happiness, at its element, 'tis a good thing. That sounding joy brings people together. It encourages a giving spirit, and it just may make these cold days a little bit warmer.