I walked from my apartment into a Starbucks, and I was met with the jarring display of holiday mugs and food items in the display case (everyone cheer for the Cranberry Bliss Bars). The weather in the valley has finally turned milder, but it is by no means holiday weather, and I’m struggling to come to grips with the fact that there are people in this world who have never experienced what gets presented as a typical Christmas season – cold, sweaters, oversized coats, mittens, snow, your breath in the air when you walk outside. Southern California has none of those or if they do, it’s people deciding it’s cold enough (60 degrees does not count) to wear sweaters and boots and carry around piping hot cups of those expensive holiday Starbucks drinks that we all seem to love. My uncomfortable realization that the holidays are coming and it doesn’t feel like it was helped with the new Johnnyswim Christmas album (It’s good – check it out). Listening to the familiar melodies I’m now imagining myself back home in my dad’s gigantic boat of truck riding through the hills by the river near my grandparents house with snow covering the fields, smoke billowing from the chimneys, mittened hands holding hot chocolate, Mannheim Steamroller rolling through the speakers and Christmas lights beginning to turn on as dusk sets in. Dear Omaha, I’ll be home in 1 month; please have some of that holiday idealized beauty I envision in my head when I arrive.