There is not one specific moment for me when the Christmas season begins.
The feeling of Christmas-- and here I'm not talking about the Christmas Spirit, which I hope is with me always-- but the almost-palpable, memory-made feeling of Christmas can sneak up on me at any time throughout the year. Late at night, when the house is quiet and the lights are all out but one, I'll glance out the window and see it. Christmas.
If I happen to wake one morning, early, and open the door while everyone is still in bed, the cold air will bring it to me and I'll breathe it. Christmas.
I can hear it in the silence of the first starlit snow fall and touch it when I walk through the forest and my fingers graze a pine bough... and taste it in anything covered in powdered sugar or walnuts.
And as the year goes on and Autumn fades away the feeling surprises me more and more often until suddenly it's December 1st, and what was memory has become real, not only for me but for all the world.
I love Christmas.
I was thinking today (I have a yucky head cold so I didn't do much else) about a journal I filled this past year by using the writing prompt of 'Today List' (rather than to-do list- get it? I'm so clever. Ha ha).
Each day that I wrote, instead of essaying or storytelling in the traditional way, I simply made a list. Today I felt. Today I did. Today I thought about. And I have to tell you, it's the first time I've filled a journal in years. So I thought the idea is something I'd like to apply here, once a week or so. And I thought today would be a good day to start.
So, Today Begins:
:: our family's quest for a homemade Christmas. With our ornaments and decorations all in storage in Idaho (long story), and our difficult decision to not stretch the budget and go get the stuff before Christmas, we have an opportunity to make everything. Together. I mean, the majority of our gifts are always handmade, but to do the decorations too...I'm actually really excited about it.
:: one of my favorite months of the year, not only because of Christmas, but also because my little boy was born this month...can it really have been five years ago?
:: the time when the songs I'm singing (and I'm pretty much always singing) switch to Christmas carols and Christmas pop hits and even Christmas commercial jingles from my childhood...everything from "O Come O Come Emmanuel" to "Blue Christmas" to "Who's That Kid With the Oreo Cookie" (the Christmas version of course). And I don't get tired of any of them. Well, most of them.
:: the itching in my fingers to play my violin. It really doesn't get me at any other time of year- I confess, that fiddle has pretty much been in its case since last New Year's- but at Christmas I want to make music, and I find I am annually grateful for the eight years' worth of lessons I muddled through.
What does December first begin for you? Share in the comments.
Oh, and, of course,
Have a Merry Christmas.