Perhaps they’ve been seeking an antidote to the harrowing nature of 2020 so far, but an unusual number of my friends have started the Christmas season early this year and have been posting photos of their trees and other decorations on Facebook.
Most years I make a practice of declaring to anyone who cares to listen, “I don’t even think about Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving. One holiday at a time, folks.”
And I studiously have NOT shopped on Black Friday for years, both because I hate crowds and because I don’t want to enable department stores that make their employees leave their families in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner so adult customers can get a head start on fighting over the latest must-have toy. (I certainly don’t intend to do so this year either.)
But I must admit I’ve been having more than my usual share of “Bah! Humbug!” moments with the pandemic surging again. In fact, I’ve been so depressed I had seriously considered not even bothering to put up a tree or decorations this year. After all, being in lockdown means we won’t be entertaining any family or friends at our house.
So I decided it wouldn’t hurt to follow my friends’ example and start observing Advent early this year myself.
We have a small artificial tree that fits on a table, the better to keep curious pets away from the ornaments.
I love to go all-out in the sun room. The blaze of lights brings so much cheer on cold, dark mornings.
As if it could read my mind, our Christmas cactus actually started blooming early this year. (It usually doesn’t start blooming until December.)
And the peace lily, which usually doesn’t bloom this time of year at all, has decided to add its contribution.
A ceramic Nativity Scene my mother made for me has a place of honor in our china cabinet. Yes, that’s a cat next to the manger. We all know how cats have to be in the middle of things whenever something important is going on, and what could possibly be more important than the birth of our Savior?
At our house, we have an annual tradition of listening to Handel’s Messiah all the way through while putting up the tree and decorations. My favorite part is the Hallelujah chorus, which I could listen to over and over again like a teenager.
There, I’m starting to perk up already.