Christmas is one of those holidays that is on the same day every year. However, every year, the preparation for the holiday starts a little earlier. The stores display for Christmas in October. A few days before Halloween this year at Target, they were condensing the costume aisles to make room for Christmas decorations. Our neighborhood has already shown signs of the season by hanging their Christmas lights early. Yes, we have had a mild fall. Yes, it is better to hang them when you are not freezing your finger tips. But honestly, do you have to turn them on already?

And that is not all! The Christmas music is playing in the stores and on the radio. One of the Chicago stations, 93.9 Lite FM, plays only Christmas carols through Christmas Day. They used to start on Thanksgiving weekend. This year, they started a few days ago. I am having a hard time playing Christmas songs while I run around without a coat and the car windows are down. Not very Chicagoesque.

Maybe there is a reason for starting early and I have decided if you can’t beat them, join them. This year we are hosting Thanksgiving. Traditionally, we put up our tree that weekend. It’s a big project and usually takes most of the day. The kids are excited only to pull out their favorites and then disappear before having to clean up. Why add to my stress of the holiday weekend? I am just going to put it up a week earlier.

In years past, I usually waited until the last minute to shop for Christmas. I thought if I bought it too early, I would not get the best deal. However, waiting means crowded stores that are out of product. Last year, I was wrapping gifts on Christmas Eve to be opened less than 12 hours later. Ugh! So hate me if you want to, but I am almost done Christmas shopping this year. I plan to go out tomorrow and finish the rest of it. My goal is to be done by Thanksgiving and have everything wrapped and ready to go by the end of the weekend.

What will I do with myself for the next month after I am done? Enjoy the holiday season. Make cookies with my kids. Drive around and check out the Christmas displays. Watch all the seasonal movies. Watch home movies of Christmas past. Make memories of Christmas present. Pray that we will have many Christmas futures. Isn’t that what the season is supposed to be about?