I am already in full Christmas mode.  With the release of Megan’s Christmas Knight coming in the next two weeks, I feel like this is my season, particularly this year.  I am not, however, rushing the season. On the contrary, I am trying to make it longer.  I am not at all eager for Christmas Day to get here.  I am trying to stretch it out and make it all last as long as possible.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because I usually have all my family together.  This year I will be missing my older son, who will be spending it with family in Connecticut.  I still have my younger son coming home, and my mother and sister will be joining him, my husband and me.  The group is rounded out with my lifelong best friend.  Having these people together makes me very happy indeed.  In addition, I get to cook all the things that are off the table (literally!) all the rest of the year, like dressing and mashed potatoes.  Finally the Macy’s Parade is on while I’m cooking, culminating with the arrival of Santa Claus.

Thanksgiving, however, only takes four days to prepare for, and all those days involve the purchase and preparation of food.  Christmas requires a year to prepare for, with the heaviest concentration between Halloween and Christmas Day itself.  What am I talking about you say? Why, shopping of course.  For each person to get the very best gift I have to offer him or her, I have to put a lot of thought into what he likes, what he does, and what is going on in his (or her) life at the time.  For this to work, I have to have my eyes open all the time, every day, listening and watching and trying to match up what I see and hear from those I love with what I see and hear as I’m going through my days.  This is a full-time job!

Thanksgiving also requires no extra house decorations.  The primary focus is the dining room table, and, believe me, when I get done cooking there is NO room left for decorations anywhere in the dining room.  We can barely fit the candlesticks on the table. Christmas requires decorations in every room in the house, taking days to execute and days to take down. Fortunately Christmas decorations hang over from year to year.  Every year, however, I try to add something new. There are always new ornaments for the tree from the significant events of the year, usually travels.  This year I have three new ornaments from my trip to Ireland and the UK.

Sirius XM radio has already started its Christmas music, and I have it on speed-dial.  I don’t listen to it all the time because I don’t want to burn out, and there is lots of other good music on lots of other channels.  The Hallmark Channel has its Christmas movies going already, and I watched a couple of those yesterday while I was doing other things around the house.  It in no way made November 7 any less important in my life.  It was just the way I chose to spend that day.  Christmas things make me feel good, and I wanted to feel good yesterday, so there you have it.

Now I am going to finish cleaning up the kitchen, then I will iron while my husband watches football.  Can you really blame me for stretching out the celebration of Christmas?

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