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It's Halloween today and I'm busy in my kitchen with all kinds of festive projects. This is the first year my parents won't be here and we will miss them. Next year ... as they say.

Halloween has always been a fun holiday in our house. While we have never gone into the scary and wicked, we do love our harvest celebrations; hay bales, pumpkins, cornstalks, gourds, yes ... even black cats in honor of the family cat simply named, "Black."

I'm writing a new holiday novel, as yet untitled, that I hope to be finished with next week. The story begins Halloween night. That's how much I love the festive atmosphere of this night; the glowing jack-o-lanterns, the neighbors visiting, the darling little munchkins who visit our door, year after year; the princesses and knights, the firemen and Darth Vaders ... and even the big kids with their crackling low voices and scary, scary costumes.

It's a special night because for me, it is the beginning of the most wonderful time of year. It's a benchmark, a beginning, an, "It's okay to play Christmas music after Halloween" time.

So enjoy this night as your doorbell rings hundreds of times. Make it special and remember ... Christmas is just around the corner.

Better go and tend to my chili, make our mummy dogs and check to make sure the frosting is set on our pumpkin cookies and the Carmel as hardened on our apples. Have fun and be safe tonight.

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