October is the unofficial start to the holiday season. If you're like me, the fall decorations went up right after Labor Day, but October gives us the “OK” to truly indulge ourselves.

While the only pumpkin I crave is pumpkin pie, I won't deny that people seek out everything pumpkin flavored. Emily Gummelt has a great story on our obsession with fall flavors besides pumpkin on Page 27, and Christina Hazelwood shares the true treat of mulled wine on page 26. If you haven't tried mulled wine, I suggest it.

The holidays means trick-or-treating is around the corner, as is getting ready for those holiday dinner and office parties. We share some tips to get ready for hosting an event on Page 13 and offer fun takes on traditional chili on Page 23.

But I can't forget to mention that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and we've got you covered. Sarah Burnham was gracious enough to let our Erin Wisdom share her personal battle with breast cancer.

This awful disease has hit close to home for me. My grandmother had a double mastectomy. My other grandmother had a lump removed, and her twin sister had a mastectomy, too. It's a constant reminder that none of us are immune. About 2,550 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in men in 2018, according to the American Cancer Society.

Jenn Hall can be reached at jenn.hall@newspressnow.com. Follow her on Twitter: @SJNPHall.

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