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Ready or Not, Here Comes Santa

Jolly St. Nick rolls into town during the Festival of Lights parade.

Your turkey hangover is still fresh and it's already time for that fat guy to come visit.

No. Not your neighbor asking if he can borrow your ladder. I'm talking about Santa.

Although The Home Depot, , and a host of other stores want us to think the Christmas season begins three days after the Fourth of July, it's really the day after Thanksgiving. That's Black Friday and that's when Santa rides into town during the area parades.

It's a time when children start wanting every toy they see and smart parents start holding Santa's pending arrival over their children's heads to make them behave. He sees you when you're sleeping. It's kind of creepy, but it works wonders when little Jimmy tries screaming when he doesn't get that musical toothbrush at the checkout line. My new trick: taking out my cell phone and taking a photo of whatever toy my kids want. Then I tell them I'll text Santa the photo.

The days following Thanksgiving are also a perfect time to put up those decorations. I usually wait until the last moment so it's cold, windy and a fairly dangerous task. Plus I'm usually in such a hurry to get it done that the lights don't match, Rudolph's missing a leg and there's a strand or two that don't light up.

I've already put up the lights across my roof. I took advantage of some decent weather and climbed on my house. It did not go smoothly. Here's a tip I wish a more experienced Christmas decorator would have shared with me: While on top of your roof, after hanging your last light, if there's a significant amount of lights left over on the strand don't just throw them over the edge. The weight might just pull down every light from your roof.

And if you're going out to battle the Black Friday crowds to save $2 on that musical toothbrush or you're covering your house with so many lights your neighbors will hate you for two months, don't forget the Festival of Lights parade at 7 p.m. Friday. Click here for the details.

Our Patch crew will be out there keeping your children from running out into the street. Once again, we're on crowd control. Make sure you stop us and say hello.

So make yourself some Thanksgiving leftovers, turn on the all-Christmas music station and start enjoying the new holiday season.

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