I don’t live by the calendar or the weather. I often begin thinking about Halloween in July, and am looking for changing leaves in early August. But it doesn’t feel like the Halloween season until I catch the aroma of dead lives on the chilly breeze, or see the smoke coming from someone’s chimney in the distance.
So when does it start to feel like Christmas? Different times. But not when the radio starts playing Christmas music, or when stores start having their big blowout sales. No, I believe the countdown to Christmas starts at different times for different people, and it’s calculated by our own inner clocks.
For me, Christmas starts when I come downstairs in the morning and can smell the beautiful aroma of our Christmas tree.
Christmas starts when I begin to get impatient with the number of days left until Christmas eve.
Christmas starts when we have our first wrapped present sitting under the tree.
Christmas starts when all of the radio stations have started playing Christmas music.
Christmas starts when I begin planning what I’m going to wear for Christmas eve.
Christmas starts when I go back home to my parents’ and decorate the tree with ornaments from my childhood.
Christmas starts when I go out to the store, the bank, anywhere really, and there’s an undeniable feeling of cheer in the air.
Christmas starts when I am driving in my car on my way to do Christmas shopping, drinking coffee, and reflecting on how good the year has been to me, and all that I have to be grateful for.
Christmas starts when the kids get off the school bus and their holiday vacation officially begins.
Christmas starts when you wake up on the 23rd, and realize that there is a lot to do before the big day.
Christmas starts when you find the perfect gift for someone and can’t wait to give it to them.
Christmas starts when you realize you have last-minute things to get and you know that stores will be closing soon.
Christmas starts when your family is in a good mood and everyone is being nice to each other.
Christmas starts at many different times, and you can be anywhere when the inspiration strikes. Like driving in your car, sitting at home in your living room, or even just suddenly when you wake up.
The little things that say “Christmas is here” are the things that I cherish most about the holiday season, and I enjoy experiencing those moments year after year. When does Christmas start for you?