Valdosta Daily Times

December 22, 2013

Have a holly, jolly Christmas

Kay Harris
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Why isn't everyone in the Christmas spirit? We all should be singing carols, drinking mugs of hot chocolate while watching the Polar Express, and enjoying the holidays with family and friends.

Even I, the master procrastinator, am at least in the holiday spirit even though I am most certainly not ready for Christmas. The tree, purchased fresh each year at Hambrick's Tree Farm, just went up this weekend and the decorations made it out of the boxes. In about ten days, it will be recycled at the Bring One for the Chipper event.

Shopping? Well, I finally started Friday night. By now, Sunday morning, I should be about finished, although there are always last minute things we all tend to forget. And I never seem to have enough scotch tape when I start to wrap. I think it disappears into the same black hole in my house where all the lone socks are.

I tend to spend as much if not more time baking and cooking for Christmas Day than the rest. Homemade gifts are always the best and since I got hooked on Red Velvet Cheesecake and successfully made one last year, I've had so many requests, I will be making several this year.

Thankfully, the powers that be at the mall and most all stores understand and cater to people like me, who live on constant deadlines, and have adjusted their hours accordingly, so I had plenty of time to shop very late and very early this weekend, and most stores hours are extended until Christmas Eve. Thankfully, as it has always been in my family, the holidays are about enjoying time together and having fun. The best memories are the ones when things didn't go perfectly and the stories turn into family legends, like the year someone left the "stuffing" inside the turkey and cooked it, not realizing it was the innards; or the year I dropped the pumpkin pie on the oven door and the ensuing pumpkin splash engulfed me and the entire kitchen in bright orange; or the Christmas Eve when my daughter, who we thought just had a cold, got suddenly very sick during the play onstage at church and we ended up spending the evening in the emergency room; or the time that my father, who's been gone for a number of years, cut his pinkie finger tip off carving the turkey, and on and on.

Some people dwell on being perfect and having things go smoothly. We seem to thrive off last minute craziness and accidents. As my mother used to say, "It wouldn't be Christmas unless somebody has to go to the emergency room."

Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and may you be blessed this week as you spend time with family and friends!

Business Roundup

Official confirmation this week about Medicine Shoppe's move to a new location in April. The pharmacy will be moving from its location on Windemere to the site on N. Ashley St. being cleared on the corner, in the N. Ashley St. Professional Plaza.

Also, Dunkin' Donuts is coming to the corner of Northside and N. Patterson St., and the new building going up on Norman Drive in front of Goodwill will be the Aspen Dental Clinic.

I was a week premature in announcing that Willie's Restaurant was closing. However, sad to say, they are now officially closed as the owners are dedicating more time to their other business interests.

The new crisis center for Behavioral Health Sciences will have its ribbon cutting on Monday, Dec. 30. It's located on N. Oak St. Ext. behind El Toreo and will house mentally ill patients who are in need of crisis intervention. The center's opening corresponds to the state's closure of Southwestern Hospital in Thomasville at the end of the year.

The new financial center for Southwest Georgia Bank is moving along, next to the bank's main office at the corner of Country Club and N. Valdosta Road.

The new Dollar General on N. Valdosta Road is pretty much done and should be open any day now.

The new Raceway in Lake Park at Exit 5 had its ribbon cutting and customer appreciation day this week.

Stacey's Sweets is now open in Hahira downtown, joining the rest of the quaint and vibrant businesses in the city.

Soon after the first of the year, we should see the new Remerton Mill Pizza buffet open and should have a better idea about when the Gondoliers restaurant on Norman Drive will be finished and open.

That's it for this week, happy shopping, safe travels and Merry Christmas!