Christmas has blossomed in Harford County, seemingly overnight, like a lawn overtaken by dandelions.
It's not even December and, without rhyme or reason, picture windows aplenty are filled with decorated trees, houses are aglow with exterior lights and lawns are adorned with all sorts of ornamentation.
With retailers pushing the Christmas season ever earlier, it's no wonder their customers are following their lead and bringing Christmas into their homes ever earlier. But this year seems to have topped all others.
Before Thanksgiving, there was as much Christmas stuff dripping from houses as there was from stores. Why the rush to the Yuletide?
After a little cogitation, there are plenty of reasons, some more obvious than others. Maybe folks have just had enough of feeling depressed because of years of a crappy economy and its ever-looming threats that worry so many. Maybe it's been so unseasonably warm that folks were feeling more warmly, more early about the holiday. Or maybe they just wanted to get the stuff up while it felt like spring, and since it was up, why not light it?
Whatever the reason, or combination thereof, Christmas has arrived in abundance in Harford County. And December doesn't arrive until Thursday.
Of the many things that shouldn't be lost in the blur that's the rush toward Dec. 25 is the good that lots of people have done with the promise of much more to come as we roll to and through the 12 days of Christmas.
Thanksgiving in Harford County was a day of giving more than just thanks. Thursday morning in Bel Air, more than 1,700 runners and walkers participated in a Turkey Trot to benefit the YMCA. At about the same time, another 500 or so runners and walkers participated in a Turkey Trot in Bulle Rock to benefit the Susquehanna Hose Co., the volunteer fire company which serves and protects the Havre de Grace community.
While folks were running and walking through the Bulle Rock neighborhood, others were at St. Patrick Hall as the Havre de Grace High School SMILES group and its passel of volunteers were getting ready to serve the Havre de Grace community in another way – a free holiday feast for those in need of companionship or help in other ways.
Members of the Evangelistic Church of the Deliverance in Havre de Grace were busy at the same time bringing a holiday feast to the Aberdeen firehouse on Rogers Street to those in need in that community.
The CCA's annual Festival of Trees was Saturday and the AMC Harford County Chapter will host its annual Christmas House Tour Sunday. Both events raise money to help fund research in the fight against cancer.
And that's just the beginning. There's The Aegis Empty Stocking Fund and Toys for Tots and an annual Christmas effort at St. Margaret Church in Bel Air for the needy and on and on …
There is just so much giving in Harford County at this time of year, it's hard not to be afflicted with a little Christmas Fever, even though it may seem to have stricken many of us a lot earlier this year.