I've never begun decorating this early for Christmas before now, but it had to happen.
The past couple of months have been stressful and lightly peppered with grief, so as I started thinking of ways to get in gear, I naturally looked to the calendar since time rules our world. This thought process began mid-October with Halloween preparations underway. I decided that once Halloween passed, I'd dive into decorating so long as my children wouldn't kill me for it. I figure that time marches on, and so must we, but we don't have to keep marching without Christmas lights and music to keep us warm.
Three days ago, I was shopping with my youngest son, and I asked him what he thought about getting out the Christmas stuff to start in on Christmastime early. Bracing myself for a You're weird, Mom and other such responses, I was surprised to see a big smile spread across his face and hear him agreeing with me that it feels like a good thing to do.
We haven't been able to crack open anything until today, but we got half of the outdoor lights placed (I promise we won't turn them on yet!) and my special toy reindeer collection set up along the edge of the sofa. We took inventory of what other lights we have that still work and have a plan for making our house so sparkly and cheerful. We wound down for bedtime by watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas! together and deciding that we will watch a Christmas movie a week until we get to actual Christmas. It was so fun. We really relaxed so much and were able to smile without any trouble. Oh yes! And we got out our essential Christmas countdown chalk board. No one wants to keep track, but no one wants to send it for donation either. Doesn't every family have something that no one wants but doesn't want to get rid of? Maybe we are weird, and that's okay.
I'm so grateful that I have some special and festive decorations to liven things up around here. I'm so grateful for Christmastime arriving relatively soon. I feel my heart welcoming the messages of peace, charity, and hope that come as we remember the birth of the Savior. I'm thankful for Him. I'm thankful for my sweet children wanting to decorate early and enjoy Christmas music and movies. I'm thankful that I can choose to begin celebrating Christmas a little early this year.