Catching Up – Just in Time for Christmas

All of us have different routines and different ways to unwind from our busy lives. Even so, sometimes things get too busy and too frantic and we need something more. One constant for my wife and I has been the Sandlake Country Inn, a wonderful bed and breakfast that we have been going to for about 16 years. It’s a really special place for the two of us and I can’t imagine a nicer setting in which to relax and regroup from all the chaos that being an adult entails. New job? Unending onslaught of changes and regulation to your industry? Plan a quick visit with innkeepers Diane and Ron and you’ll be ready to take on all the normal challenges of your life with aplomb and style.

JJ and I just visited the Inn over the Thanksgiving holiday and as is always the case, Diane and Ron somehow managed to expertly offer the perfect blend of solitude, privacy, relaxation and hospitality. Not an easy task but one we greatly appreciate nonetheless. The breakfasts are large enough to hold us off until mid afternoon and are quite varied from day-to-day. (Actually, they’re quite huge and I don’t know that anyone has ever completely finished one without breaking several world records for culinary calisthenics). The rooms vary in size, setting and decor and are mercifully free of thematic idiocy. There are no rooms dedicated to Brittany Spears, Spongebob, Albert Einstein or any other number of tacky and moronic clichés. My wife reminds me that I have no appreciation for things of a whimsical nature and I apparently agree when it comes to bed and breakfasts. What I am looking for is a comfortable place to relax and unwind and to really get away from it all. I am not looking for the opportunity to stay in a room full of life-size Elvis cutouts.

If you’d like to learn more about our favorite bed and breakfast, please click here

Fast forward to today, December 14, 2010 and the pre-Christmas fun begins in earnest. My daughter’s math has become stellar in the last couple weeks. She can tell you how many days until Christmas using the quadratic equation, branching operations, imaginary numbers etc. She probably even has it down to the exact nanosecond. To be sure, it’s an exciting time of year when you are eight years old. But what about for us adults? To a certain extent, Christmas to me feels like legalized madness. How else do you explain all the activities, all the gifts, all the craziness we try to fit in during this month?

And while I might complain about Christmas music and state that there are basically only about 10 Christmas songs as opposed to the thousands of washed up celebrities signing them, both my daughter and my wife have busted me singing these very same songs when I don’t think that they are listening. All in all, I enjoy the time to slow down a bit and get comfortable with a good book around the fire or to catch up with relatives and friends at one of numerous family get togethers or parties. I have to admit – shopping is not my favorite activity and “peace on earth” doesn’t necessarily extend to parking lot courtesies. Getting run over while trying to get the newest Wii accessory is not my ideal notion of fun.

And yet, in spite of the pressure, the pace, the commercialism, Michael Bolton singing “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” this is still one of my favorite times of the year. It’s easy to be cynical at times during the holiday season but not when I see the joy in my daughter’s eyes. May it be so for you as well.

Merry Christmas to you and yours.


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