I like this time of year, mainly for the traditions that occur. Perhaps my favorite is reading the Lord of the Rings in the beginning of deer hunting season until Christmas. As I mentioned here, Lord of the Rings is one of my favorite books. When I first started deer hunting I remarked to my dad that I would get bored in the tree stand all day. He recommended bringing along a paperback book, and that I should read a paragraph or two at a time, then look up for deer, and then read another paragraph or two. However I was so amazing by the world of Middle Earth that I would devour chapters at a time before remembering to look up. The first copies of the book I actually owned were given to me by my mom. She had purchased all three of them, still wrapped in plastic, at a local garage sale. I mistakenly thought that they were the second edition of the books ever printed (they're actually the second edition of that printing of the book, as seen here), but I cherish those books like none other. Keep in mind this was about 1998, and the movies were just beginning production. No one knew how well a little known director from New Zealand would do on such a big budget expansive movie that many deemed unfilmable. We see how that turned out. Since then I've read the books nearly every year, played pretty much any video game with Lord of the Rings plastered on it (these two were my faves), saw the movies on the opening weekends (and then purchased the slick Extended Edition DVD sets), and even have an Aragorn action figure watching over me at work. While reading Fellowship of the Ring this weekend I saw that TNT was playing the whole trilogy, which got me jonesing to have a marathon movie session of all the movies soon, in full HD. And the great news that the excellent director Guillermo Del Toro is going to be making The Hobbit has me VERY excited for the next few years. It's been a good time to be a Lord of the Rings fan.
EDIT: So writing this has made me go and see if the Trilogy is on Blu-Ray yet, which it is not. This is a travesty. However, I DID find reviews for the Extended Editions from IGN, and they're really in-depth, loving reviews. If they can't convince you to watch the movies (if you haven't seen them before), than nothing will. Review one, two, and three. Also, my copies of the books like like the one pictured above. Neat!