Enjoy the quiet, because tomorrow launches what I’m calling the busiest month of 2012.

As if a presidential election isn’t enough to send everyone spinning, November also lays claim to Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, Black Friday — the biggest shopping day of the year — and big-time holiday preparations.

With Halloween and superstorm Sandy gone, now we have festivities to look forward to that, albeit exciting, require a good deal of preparation, for the arrival of family and friends from away, for dinners, parties and other events.

In addition to the regular tasks that come with holidays — shopping, decorating, cooking, baking and card-writing — I find my calendar this month teeming with other activities.

There’s the upcoming, annual Lovejoy Convocation at Colby College, which this year boasts Bob Woodward, the Washington Post reporter who, with reporter Carl Bernstein, blew the lid off the Watergate scandal in the 1970s. Woodward will receive the Lovejoy Award, an accolade the college gives annually to a journalist who displays courage in pursuit of the truth.

It is named for Elijah Parish Lovejoy, an 1826 graduate of Colby who was killed in 1837 in Alton, Ill., while defending his right to print anti-slavery sentiments in his newspaper. The Lovejoy Convocation is an event not to be missed.

I’ve also got a family wedding in Boston to attend, a friend’s 70th birthday party and several other birthdays of family members and friends to acknowledge with gifts or cards. And, of course, there’s Christmas shopping.

I am not complaining. I love activity, especially when it is associated with holidays.

The day after Thanksgiving, for instance, yields another event not to be missed, and for an entirely different reason than the Lovejoy Convocation.

It’s the annual Waterville Parade of Lights, which draws hundreds of holiday revelers downtown for an evening that borders on the magical, especially if accompanied by a dusting of snow.

For me, the most memorable parade was in 1999, when a white horse-drawn coach carrying Santa Claus clip-clopped down Main Street past the stores, stopping at Castonguay Square in front of City Hall.

The parade and opening of Kringleville, where Santa greets children, officially ushers in the holiday season here every year, but that November, it was particularly mesmerizing.

And it wasn’t just the spellbound children who stood on sidewalks.

The parade is perhaps one of the most fun events of the year, for me at least, not only because I love the holidays, but also because children get to indulge in the fantasy of Christmas, and adults get to engage their own inner child. People are lighthearted and, for one ephemeral evening, focused on all that is good, positive and felicitous.

And then the countdown to Christmas, as well as Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, begins.

Easing out of November and into December, preparations shift into high gear, with more and intensive decorating, writing, cleaning, baking, buying and wrapping.

You may think it entirely too early to talk about such things, but the onslaught is coming, and fast.

Wait, wait. Was that a snowflake I saw just now?

Get ready; here we go.

Amy Calder has been a Morning Sentinel reporter 24 years. Her column appears here Mondays. She may be reached at [email protected]

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