Is it Christmas Yet?
No, it isn't. That's probably what you're thinking, if you're even reading this at all after a headline like that one.
If you're anything like the me I used to be, then you're well aware that it's very much Halloween and then it will be Thanksgiving and Christmas will follow shortly after and each holiday deserves its own space and so of course no it is not Christmas.
I delayed the celebration of Christmas in an effort to bottle its potency. It seemed like if I started too soon, then I would have let it go before its prime. Like sniffing the perfume samples in the magazine.
I loved to wait until the rest of the world was festive and sparkly, when the lines were long inside the mall as well as in the parking lot, when the dozens of Santas emerged in their matching wardrobes of varying shapes and sizes. If I played the music too soon, then I probably would no longer enjoy it when it was socially acceptable to have it on in the car. If I finished my shopping early, then I'd miss out on holiday sales, let alone the hustle and bustle.
But this year, I'm teetering on the question that maybe that approach to waiting wasn't necessary at all. Or at least it wouldn't have to be.
What if I start sooner? What if - instead of bottling it all up and opening the lid just in time to get the gifts wrapped - I settle into this season? What if I let it become part of who I am rather than something I let happen to me?
It's possible that I won't sink into a deep emotional valley the week of December 23, but I need to allow the margin, just in case. And as I've learned all too well, the week of December 23 is also the week of December 25. It's hard to miss one without missing them both.
I'm thinking of letting Christmas out of her box this week at my house. I think I'll start with the music, because in my heart, that's the very nature of it all.