The holiday season is busy enough, what with the shopping, decorating, baking, eating and drinking an eggnog, or two, or three.

But this year there's been a new wrinkle further complicating the to-do list for many homeowners. The unusually warm fall means the last of the leaves are clinging to their trees.

Last week's snow complicated matters.

It left many homeowners with a rake in one hand and a shovel in the other. This is not just a problem for homeowners. It's a challenge for towns that have seen their leaf-collection schedules knocked out of whack. Not to mention snow plows that had to contend with soggy leaf piles.

Have no fear: High winds, colder weather and - yes - more snow should help drop the remaining leaves. But for now, perhaps it's best to keep both the rake and shovel available until further notice.

Or better yet: put off the fall and winter cleanup until the spring. That will leave more time for shopping and decorating. Not to mention, eating and making merry.