As I write this, it’s still a bit shy of Thanksgiving. The lighted holiday wreaths have gone up on Main Street, and the parking lots are filling up as the early shoppers hit the stores. In the midst of all this hustle and bustle, however, I’ve moved into the slow lane. Not because I wanted to, but because on a recent mini vacay to Quartz Mountain, I managed to trip and fracture my ankle, resulting in a plate and 11 screws that will forever set alarms off at airports and other places with security measures in place.

While I can’t say I’m relishing this forced trip to the sidelines, the glass-half-full part of me says, “Whoa! Maybe Fate is trying to tell you something. So, from time to time, I have been practicing what my good friend Haven Tobias advises people to do: be in the present. Observe the surroundings. Feel. Smell. Taste. The slower pace also has allowed me more time for reflection: on the wealth that surrounds me in the form of a loving family, faithful friends, a roof over my head, and my good fortune to live in this community. 

Among its other assets, area residents have a wealth of entertainment opportunities in December. Check out this month’s calendar for just a sampling of some of the holiday-themed events scheduled from south of Norman up into Oklahoma City. There’s something for all ages, from the Sam Noble Museum’s annual Holiday Happening to performances of “The Nutcracker” and “Scrooge.”

Of course, we hope readers will take time out of their busy schedules to peruse this, the Winter & Revels issue, of Cleveland County Lifestyle. Inside, you’ll find a recipe for the perennial holiday favorite candy, peanut brittle, and some advice for those of you about to do your end-of-year financial planning. You’ll read about the behind-the-scenes making of the University of Oklahoma’s production of the beloved holiday ballet “The Nutcracker” and about a local artist who mixes his art with a goodly measure of philanthropy. In another story, you’re read about a couple for whom the Christmas spirit lives on all year long, both in their hearts and in their home. (Related photo accompanies Lifestyle Letter.)

Also again this year we’ve included a Gift Guide with giving ideas that range from the traditional (think fine jewelry) to more innovative (certificates good for fitness programs or golf lessons). And remember to, whenever possible, “shop local”!

May you have a joyful and wondrous holiday season.