Every year it seems to take me longer and longer to get into the holiday spirit. I'm always surprised when my favorite television shows start doing their Christmas episodes, because it seems like they always come too soon, before I'm really in the mood to hear Christmas carols and start feeling schmaltzy.
Seeing decorated trees going up around town, and shop windows tingeing everything red or green doesn't even do it for me. I'm not all that into seasonal shopping. I buy things through the year that I think will make good gifts for my family, and if I don't get done early, I'm very last minute about the rest.
Admittedly, even when they seem early, I do enjoy the trappings of the encroaching holidays. I received cookies in the mail. That was nice. I extracted the cute penguin wrapping paper from my closet. It's super cute. But with lots of work ahead of me still, it was hard to relax and get into the spirit of things.
This year, it occurred to me that it's never been the Christmas atmosphere alone that makes me feel Christmasy. It's being with the people that remind me of Christmas--namely my family. Friends, too. I went to a caroling event and holiday parties this weekend, and it finally started feeling like Christmas in my bones.
Only one week to go, and by the time the weekend comes around I'm sure I'll be full of Christmas cheer. And then it'll be time to think about the new year!