By Peter Berry
Chief Editor, Hyco lake Magazine

Christmas morning my eyes popped open even before my little brother’s. He slept in the bed right next to mine with my sister in the next room. Reaching over my head I rapped on the wall to get her attention and wake my brother. Seconds later we met in the living room, still tying our housecoats as we had to stop short from tripping over all of the gifts. Fast-forward a few decades to when my boys were young… I’m sure they have similar memories!

It wasn’t all at once, nor am I sure exactly when it happened, but I lost my love for the entire holiday season.

Right around Veteran’s Day the anxiety would begin to build. By Thanksgiving I was beginning to question what I had to be thankful for. On Christmas eve, as I wrapped the last few gifts to pile around the tree, I experienced a full-blown panic attack. It would be mid-April before the credit card bills would be paid and I could start breathing easy again.

Publishing this periodical has forced me to reassess my opinion of the holiday season. For example, the Patriot Portrait story from a year ago reminded me that Veteran’s Day has nothing to do with the extravagant spending just over the horizon, Thanksgiving is not about expensive foods and high dollar plane tickets, Christmas is not supposed to be about spend, spend, spend, and New Years Day should not be wasted nursing a hangover!

In this issue you’ll find stories about “Spirit” as in the spirit of the season, spirit of shopping small, and spirits 😉 😉

“The History of Santa Claus” story touched me the most as I learned about Saint Nicholas. “Christmas in the Square,” “Sharing the Spirit of Farm Life,” and “The Man Who Loves Christmas” will take you on a Holiday Spirit Tour all through our area. You’ll be reminded of the joy and importance of shopping local. And we’ll even introduce you to the local creators of spirits with information about breweries, wineries, and the distillery all within our area.

You don’t have to spend much to share your love this season. The best Christmas gift that I have ever received was a simple throw pillow created by my youngest son. I knew that as a budding engineer he has a vision of how things work, but imagine my surprise when he presented this handmade, one of a kind, symbol of his pride for his dad. Cheers, that’s the name we gave to our company logo, now resides on the top corner of our couch. He’s nothing like that elf on a shelf that comes out for a few months every year to keep an eye on kids good and bad. Nope, Cheers is there every single day of the year to remind me that we should all have the spirit of the season, every single day of the year!

And one last thought I would like to offer before you dive into all of these great stories… Our advertisers make this wonderful publication possible so please, please, please shop local.