With the celebration of Thanksgiving this week, I have much to be thankful for.

I am thankful for the blessings in my life not just today, but the other 364 days of the year too. Each year I am thankful for having the day as a day of rest and relaxation.

But with the kickoff of the holiday season, I find myself tired before it ever begins.

Thanksgiving is a not an extravagant day around my house.

It’s the one time of year I pretend I am a gourmet cook.

I plan a menu, go to the grocery store with a long list, and plan as if it is a work of art.

I spend the day cooking, listening to music and enjoying myself at home. There is usually no schedule. We eat when the food is ready. The day is usually spent with my children, although this year I may lose three of them to hunting for most of the day.

I use this day as a “calm before the storm” before the chaos that will abruptly crash in like a wrecking ball, known as the Christmas season.

After everyone’s feast, many prepare for Black Friday shopping. I have to say kudos to anyone who will go stand in the cold, in a long line, for discounted towels.

There is not enough coffee in the world for me to do this. I prefer the comfort of ordering gifts online or would much rather go during normal business hours and pay full price.

Next is the Christmas decorating.

Some people like to decorate early, and some do it at the last minute. I am one of those who don’t have a set time. I just start when I find the mental strength to begin the process and drag it all out.

Just bringing everything down from the third floor makes me tired, and I haven’t even started decorating yet.

Each year I start with this grand image in my head of how I want everything to look. But in the end I get tired and am just as happy have it done.

Next, is the Christmas shopping. I always make a list of who I need to buy for and an idea of what to get them. But there is always one person on the list that I have trouble buying for, and then I spend two hours looking for the perfect gift.

I would much rather slide down a slide of razor blades into a pool of rubbing alcohol than fight the traffic and crowd.

Let’s not forget the hysteria of children around Christmas.

Each new toy advertised is added to a long list for Santa, and there is always one toy that cannot be found anywhere.

I am fortunate that all of my children are older, and the search for a specific sold out toy has faded. Now, because they are older the requests are bigger with larger price tags.

Let’s not forget the Christmas parties, parades and extra events I cover for work.

Sometimes I think I need to ask Santa to create a clone of me so I can make it to all these places at once.

But the holiday season seems to go as quickly as it came.

In the end as long as I get to spend the time with my family and they are all happy and well, what more could I ask?

So let the holiday madness begin.

Leslie Beachboard is the Managing Editor of the Bertie Ledger-Advance, the Chowan Herald, the Perquimans Weekly and The Enterprise. She can be reached via email at lbeachboard@ncweeklies.com.

Leslie Beachboard is Managing Editor of the Bertie Ledger-Advance and The Enterprise. She can be reached via email at lbeachboard@ncweeklies.com.