One glance at store shelves in early November reveals an unavoidable truth - the holiday season is fast approaching.
For some - including an old Grinch like me - it's a bit too soon to be donning that gay apparel and slinging around the Christmas tinsel.
Curmudgeonliness aside, Elkins is beginning to look - and feel - a lot like Christmas.
Elkins ON TRAC started hanging decorations downtown recently, including LED rope-light displays around the Delmonte, Bialek and Wilt buildings.
The City Square has been decked out with lights and wreathes that welcomed residents and travelers alike for the annual Polar Express train rides.
On Monday, crews were afoot decorating the rest of the city with banners, wreathes and a variety of other holiday frills.
In keeping with the Christmas spirit, there are several events scheduled to get residents in the holiday mood.
For the first time, a holiday market is being offered. The bazaar started Nov. 7 at the Delmote Hotel and will run through Dec. 15.
Hours of operation will be from 4:30 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays.
AmeriCorps member Dustin Smith worked with ON TRAC on the project that showcases local businesses and their merchandise.
Organizers are hoping area residents will utilize the market for some of their holiday shopping needs.
As Dec. 25 approaches, other popular events will help to ring in that special time of year.
The annual Christmas Parade in Elkins is scheduled for 7 p.m. Dec. 6. The route begins in South Elkins at Wimer Field and ends at the corner of Davis Avenue and Fourth Street.
This year's theme is Sugar Plums and Christmas Drums.
Following the parade, area youth will have the opportunity to get their photo taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus.
Children can share their wish lists with the jolly old St. Nick at the YMCA.
The Inter-Mountain will again be taking the photos, which are popular keepsakes and remembrances.
These are just a few of the holiday happenings in the city, with many, many more scheduled throughout the area.
Although I never have been much of a festive person, it is heatwarming to see the city, local businesses and so many organizations come together to brighten the city for this season of giving and thanks.
This is the time of year many families and children make memories that last a lifetime. With all the effort being put forth by so many, it truly will be a holiday season not soon forgotten.
Contact Matthew Burdette at 304-636-2121, ext. 120 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at IMT_Burdette.