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Election Day to New Year’s Day

The season is all about change and the ways we make ourselves love it

I didn’t mean to do it.
    Writing this week’s Creature Feature about burrowers, hibernators and fall feeders in the wild was a spontaneous decision, evolved from the spectacle of squirrels falling from the sky.
    Yet in retrospect, Ah! I recognize that choice as proof of the unaccountable power of the unconscious mind. For I’ve been all about burrowing.
    Calendar Editor Michelle Steel and I have been dug in, tracking down and chronicling hundreds of holiday events so you can begin planning your winter holidays early with Bay Weekly’s annual Seasons Bounty, coming your way November 21. Now, with deadline approaching and the list of to-confirms dwindling, we’ve done as groundhogs are supposed to do on February 2: poked our heads out to see what’s up.
    What I’m seeing is consolidating change. Despite recurring throwback temperatures in the 60s, we’re on our way to winter. Autumn’s flame shone brightly in November’s first days; now it is dimming. Winter ducks are arriving. Daylight is down to 10 hours, 17 minutes and shrinking by about two minutes each day.
    Christmas trees and lights are appearing in stores, alongside leftover pumpkins, Thanksgiving decorations and cinnamon brooms. A first this year: Pilgrims among ghosts and goblins on at least one Chesapeake lawn. No reindeer yet.
    Christmas is a ways away in my book. Yet Seasons Bounty is my book, and as its first reader, I’m succumbing. Holiday spirit is infusing my veins with low-key anticipation. I may even jump the gun to visit Homestead Gardens’ Friday (Nov. 8) preview of “this year’s spectacular Holiday displays.”
    So much is coming! About everything you could want to do over the winter holidays — from Turkey Trots to Menorah lighting to Christmas tree forests to New Year’s Eve reveling (and including Cookie College).
    Indeed, the winter holidays are starting already, attempting to make up for this year’s shortened season — down a week from last year when Thanksgiving fell at its earliest possible date, November 22.
    Historic London Town and Garden’s Festive Critter ornament sale is this weekend, along with Kol Shalom’s Chanukah Bazaar, followed by Eastport United Methodist Church’s 6th Annual Community Thanksgiving Jam and dinner. Even Chanukah is early this year, beginning at sundown on Thanksgiving, November 28. That’s a coincidence not to happen again for 77,798 years, according to Steven Perlberg, writing in Business Insider.
    November’s weeks will continue to bring you into the spirit and season, with 8 Days a Week, as ever, your best route to all that’s happening in Chesapeake Country.
    A case could be made for a still earlier starting date for our change over into winter: Election Day.
    Falling on the first Tuesday in November, Election Day follows so close on the heels of autumn’s cross-quarter day into winter — Halloween or All Saints Day, take your pick — that it’s arguably a surrogate for that gateday. A second persuader: season gatedays are all about change. Election Days slap us with change so sharply and broadly that many people — in these polarized times about half of us — are sure to feel their sting.
    One day you’ve got a chance. Before midnight that same day, you’re out of the running. And your candidate with you. In Annapolis, Josh Cohen was mayor yesterday, looking forward to another term. Today, he may be a lame duck.
    Cohen supporters — 3,644 Annapolis voters (not counting absentees) — are reeling with shock. At the same time, the 3,728 Annapolis voters giving Mike Pantelides the mayor’s job — at least for now — are reveling in change.
    Change sends us into our burrows and lures us back out.
    I’m glad to be out of my burrow, getting into the spirit of the winter holidays that take us through the change of the darkest night to the solstice. Then, one way or
another, who isn’t celebrating rebirth?

Sandra Olivetti Martin
Editor and publisher; editor@bayweekly.com