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It’s the Most Stressful Time of the Year…

By Kim Howard, CAE

Oh December, you get a bad rap. You are the last month of the year and the end of the quarter. Your weather is freaky. December 21 officially ushers in the coldest season of the year with the winter solstice in the Northern hemisphere. This freaks out anyone who loves to wear shorts and flip-flops. It’s also the
shortest day of the year with the sun setting earlier than normal, depressing even the most optimistic winter-season human. And then there are the holidays, fraught with commercial decorations and merchandise that show up before the end of October. There are many events serving food, dessert and alcohol. The average American gains anywhere between two and 10 pounds from Halloween through New Year’s Day. If you do a quick online search, you will literally find a holiday or some other celebration
for every day of the month. No wonder people are stressed out. The good news is that we have 31 days in the month on which to celebrate….and that is also the bad news.

This month’s cover story might help relieve some of that stress by offering holiday decoration ideas. Writer Marianne Weaver’s cover story “Deck the Halls: Historic—and not-so-historic—Homes in Prince William Are Dressed for the Holidays” has many photos to get your creative juices flowing.

If you need to let off steam and hunting is something you enjoy, then our Destinations piece is what you want to read. “Deer Hunting at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge” by Paul Keily showcases hunting options in Woodbridge.

This is the time of the year that many of us take stock not only of our personal lives, but our professional lives as well. If a job or career change is on your agenda for 2018, make sure to read Ashley Claire Simpson’s Lifelong Learning article “Five Professional Tips for Job Hunters”.

Olivia Overman profiles the Benedictine Sisters of Virginia. The sisters have served Virginians since 1868, and 150 years looks good on them and us. If you are considering volunteering this month or wish to
find out more about their services, read “Benedictine Sisters of Virginia: Serving the Community for 150 Years.”

And, from the staff at Prince William Living, we wish all of you a wonderful, joyous (and stress-free) holiday season.

Kim Howard, CAE
Editor in Chief

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