Well, looking at the calendar and seeing that tomorrow is the first of December has really woken me up to the fact that Christmas will be here before I know it.
Unlike many of my friends who have all or most of their shopping done, and even their decorating, I haven't really even given much thought to Christmas yet.
We never really have been a family who decorates the house for Christmas far ahead of the actual day. We generally decorate and put up the tree about a week before Christmas. Sometimes I think that when the decorations are put up too early, they have lost their magic by the time Christmas actually comes. It can get to the point where you don't even notice them anymore, because they've just become part of every day living.
As for the shopping, well, I am definitely behind. If I were a different kind of person, I would have been out last Friday, when all the sales were on. However, I just don't do well in those kind of big crowds. I tend to get overwhelmed and frustrated. My husband and I have discovered that Saturday evenings in December are the absolute best times to shop. It seems that most people are busy at Christmas parties and there are relatively few shoppers. We can usually get pretty much all of our shopping done in just a few hours on a Saturday evening, as long as we have things well planned.
For me, the key is knowing in advance what I am looking for. I like to have an idea of what I want to get someone before I head out the door. I'm not a shopper who likes to just browse and stumble upon an idea.
The most important thing is that both of my kids will be here for Christmas, and we'll all be together. That's the real magic of the season. And now that they are young adults, Christmas is calmer and less tiring than it was when they were little.
At first, I missed all the craziness of Christmas morning with small children. However, it didn't take me long to appreciate the peace and quiet enjoyment of the family just moving at a relaxed pace on a Christmas morning and having the family actually sleep in past 6 a.m. It used to be the kids who were up first, but now I'm usually the first one awake, being the early riser that I am.
For the last few years, I've been up hours before the rest of the family on Christmas, which has been quite nice, to be honest. It's enjoyable to have some time alone at the beginning of the day for quiet reflection.
A week ago, I wasn't even ready to start thinking about the Christmas season, but now, on the eve of December, I have to admit that I'm looking forward to it.
'Til tomorrow, my friends. Much love to all.