It is December the 1st which means two things: One - it's my mother's birthday (Happy birthday, Mom!), and I took care of that with a nice gift basket; and two - the Christmas season officially starts for me today.
Now, it's true we have already done some Christmas things. The tree lighting was last weekend and the kids went down to serve hot chocolate with the Scouts, for example. Some shopping has been, well, contemplated at least. And the children have been practicing music for their upcoming concert and sneaking in Christmas songs when they can. But they are the minor, peripheral things. The real beginning for me is right here, right now.
And how does it start? Simply, as ever.
I take time on the 1st to sit down with paper and a calender and a glass of wine to plan the next few weeks leading up to Christmas and into the New Year. I listen to Christmas songs (Elvis is crooning Silver Bells as I type this), and try to think about the things that will make us happy: A trip to Upper Canada VIllage's Alight at Night; Christmas caroling around the neighbourhood; making gingerbread and cookies and tourtiere and sausage rolls; picking out and decorating a tree; reading A Christmas Carol; and my favourite tradition of the season...celebrating the solstice with a Deck The Halls afternoon.
Yes, as of today, we can really think about decorating and baking and watching those Christmasy movies (Love, Actually, anyone?). I love December.