The snarl and spirit of the season

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

If you already have your holiday shopping finished, stay away from me. If you see me out on the streets, just lie and say that like me, you haven't even started yet and may not be finished in time.

Is it me or did the time between Halloween and Christmas get shorter? I want you to know that I wasn't always like this. There was a time in my life, in fact just a few short years ago, when I had all my holiday shopping completed and wrapped by the beginning of November. I loved searching for the perfect gift for each person on my list. I would think about it through the year, and make notes and lists. Then I would proudly announce how my gifts were sitting beautifully hand-wrapped in just the right spots under each of the four Christmas trees I had decorating my home. Now that person annoys me. I annoy myself just thinking of how I used to be before I had a little girl.

Sure, it's easy to get all that done when you have no one to bathe, feed and dress each day but yourself. I am giving myself a dirty look right now as I write. Now that there is a little one in the picture, I think about how my mom used to put together the perfect holiday. She always decorated the tree beautifully, had the inside and outside of the house lit up to our delight, and found time to bake cookies, candies and other delectable morsels. She irritates me now too. Why did she set the bar so high? The only cookies I have ever made for the holidays are those sugar cookies in the tube that you squeeze out, slice off, and bake, and somehow I managed to mess those up!

Last year, I ordered every gift I bought online, strung one line of clear lights on a small bush in front of our home, decorated a smaller than usual tree, and placed the cookies my mom baked us onto one of my holiday platters and served them as my own. All that effort exhausted me.

But this year is going to be different. Not because I am going to bake my own cookies, decorate the whole house and actually go outside of my home to purchase a gift, but because I am going to take time and enjoy the season. I am going to cherish my loved ones. I am going to savor every twinkle in my daughter's eyes as she experiences each new wonder. I am going to hug my loved ones.

Just before the holidays we lost WBNS news anchor Heather Pick to breast cancer. I had the opportunity to know Heather and work with her on several events. She never complained, was always positive, and enjoyed life to its fullest. Her advice to everyone was not to wait, but to get out and do things with your loved ones. I plan to do just that and hope you do too.

There are so many wonderful holiday and winter events for families around town this month. Get out and make some memories! The holidays are not about how many gifts we get or give but about love. I wish you a very happy and memorable holiday season.

After more than 20 years in central Ohio radio and TV, Stacy McKay left her position as a morning radio co-host to spend more time with her daughter, Olivia. Stacy now writes and speaks about the joys and humor of being a first-time mom in her 40s. Visit