Meridian Industrial

A NOTE FROM THE EDITOR

2022-12-01 | Payton North

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Where do you find comfort?

Curling up by a fire with a good book? Taking a beat to enjoy a mug of creamy hot chocolate with a fluffy marshmallow – or perhaps an adult beverage? Maybe you find comfort snuggling under a fuzzy blanket watching a movie after a long day. What about enjoying homemade chicken noodle soup on a chilly evening?

For me – I find comfort in Novembers and Decembers.

Why?

These months welcome my favorite time of year: the holiday season.

Before the carved pumpkins are rotten, I’m already pulling out my fireplace mantle garland, stockings and window candle lights.

I find an inexplicable amount of joy in the holidays.

Driving past countless homes adorned with classic – and sometimes kooky – decorations: that’s where I find comfort. I drove down the locally famous Greenleaf Drive in Hampden at least six times last holiday season, each time with more anticipation than the last, to view the classic cut-out figures that begin with a life-size, hand-crafted wooden Santa who holds a sign welcoming passersby to the street.

Baking the North family cookie favorites – peanut butter buckeyes and Russian tea cookies – with my mom and one of my best friends: that’s where I find comfort.

Blaring every Christmas station known to existence from November through December, letting the cheerful, hopeful tunes lift my spirits: that’s where I find comfort.

Watching as many cheesy, holiday-themed romantic comedies as I can – despite them all having virtually the same plot: that’s where I find comfort.

Heck – I even find comfort in cleaning our house top to bottom in preparation for a good party.

Where I find the most comfort, though, is being surrounded by my family and close friends while enjoying a delicious meal, good drinks and their company.

Storrowton Tavern, featured in this month’s Go Local, knows all about the comfort a good meal can bring. Throughout its 60-plus years of business, Storrowton has brought various versions of comfort foods and comforting activities – one of which, is their upcoming Yuletide Festival, which takes place annually and is a tradition to many.

Peak holiday comfort, in my opinion, revolves heavily around scent. I have a sugared snickerdoodle candle in my kitchen – for when I don’t have time to bake the snickerdoodles but want to smell the gooey, sugary goodness – and evergreen candles in the rest of my home. Local business owners Dee and Ray Gore began their candle company, Wilbraham Candle, after they struggled to find a clean burning candle with a strong scent. I personally purchased one of their candles as a gift last year and received rave reviews on the fragrance.

But when I do have time to spare in the kitchen, you’ll find me baking not only the North family classic cookies I mentioned, but other goodies as well. Baking is a science – and I thrive in this medium, as I’m someone who finds comfort in how precise the art of baking is. Mercedes Delano, owner of Connecticut’s Bake, Craft and Create, appreciates not only the art of baking – but art in general. Her business focuses on classes that allow participants to enjoy
 crafting and creating a sweet treat.

And what would the holiday season be without offering your loved one the perfect gift? While I’m not one to get caught up in the consumerism side of Christmas – I do enjoy giving a thoughtful gift. Brian and Monica Rushby, owners of East Longmeadow’s RedFive Toys and Collectibles, promise a shopping experience reminiscent of childhood memories. Focusing on toys that go back to what they grew up playing with in the ‘80s, RedFive offers gifts that will delight both young and old.

Though this can be a stressful time of year between obligations to attend various gatherings, perhaps spending more money than usual on gifts for others or preparing a feast for many mouths – I hope you are able to find your comfort – whatever that may look like. I wish you and yours a beautiful holiday season.

Cheers,

- Payton North, Executive Editor

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