This is the time of year when a couple of conflicting waves begins to build within me. It's officially autumn, one of my favorite times of year, but...just barely. Halloween is only a month away, but I usually don't start to think seriously about Halloween until a couple of weeks beforehand. Thanksgiving (okay, this is regional) follows less than a month after that, but I really don't think about Thanksgiving much until it's almost upon us.
And then there's Christmas.
Yes, I know. It's so far away, but the thing about Christmas is that it involves a lot of prep work. So if you're going to make gifts, you have to begin early. If you have a lot of people you're gifting and you're not making gifts, but shopping, you don't want all those transactions to show up on a single credit card bill. I like to stretch it out, to pick things up as I find them. I like to donate to charities I've missed earlier in the year, so I've already started making lists of the ones I don't want to forget. That means that Christmas starts earlier than I'd really like it to.
So while I'm loving the autumn leaves (or, if you live on the other side of the world, you might be enjoying the flowers?), and while I'm slowly adjusting to the shorter days, the cooler days and anticipating bowls of hot soup and apple cider, and doing all those other autumn things (watching American style football and enjoying pumpkins, crisp evenings and cozy nights reading or watching the new television series), I'm also starting to gear up for Christmas (sorry, Thanksgiving).
So most of the time right now, I'm thinking autumn. I'm enjoying the season we're currently experiencing, because I love all the seasons, especially autumn. But now and then I take a few minutes to start getting ready for the holiday to come. I begin to gather my Christmas-themed books, take a stab at making lists, occasionally cruise the internet looking for craft or gift ideas and I allow myself to enjoy the slow but joyful slide toward that still distant holiday. Because a slight touch of early Christmas here and there is rather nice. It's a whisper of the fun to come, a reminder of just how much I love Christmas.
Still, there's one thing I'm not ready for yet: Christmas songs in stores. That will have to wait.