Over Thanksgiving, I watched as my Instagram feed exploded with Christmas trees springing up in home after home…almost as if everyone was desperate to bring whatever light and cheer they could into the tale end of a very rough month. We, though equally in need of a bright spot, spent that weekend lounging, eating, and playing board games with our house guests. Which felt exactly right. And then December came. And then I noticed on Sunday that we only have two more weekends between now and Christmas. Yikes! Did Thanksgiving come late? Or Christmas early? Or does this happen to me every year?
We still don't have a tree—I like to wait until there's a bit of snow on the ground (which we got yesterday!!)—but I spent the weekend deep-cleaning the living room, so that when we do bring in the tree we won't be setting it up on top of six inches of dust and junk. And we've watched a couple of holiday movies and went to see a theatrical performance of A Christmas Story.
I un-decorated our fall stuff and then put out a few festive items that happen to be hanging around and didn't involve brining up the holiday boxes. I sort of like the minimalist feel—Austerity Christmas (kind of fitting, no?)—and wonder if anyone would notice if we don't actually decorate (yeah, they probably will).
We're also doing a couple of low-key advent-y activities: I bought one of those tiny German advent calendars, and put out a perpetual advent calendar that I got last Christmas. And, of course, the Christmas Book Countdown. I thought the boys might be getting too old, but, as Z says, it's tradition. E's first response, when he got home from school on the 1st and saw the books I'd only just moments earlier finished wrapping up and numbering: "Oh, we're doing that again?" He's gotten into, though, once we got through Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas (all my fault for practically naming him after that book).
I also got a catalog from The Preemptive Love Coalition, which had this pull-out in the back of 25 Days of Peace activity guide. I admit to not being 100% on top of keeping up with the activities, but the ones I've done I've appreciated, and I am 100% behind the idea of peace.
I approach the holidays the way I approach the Atlantic Ocean, that is easing in, one inch at a time, rather than diving off the dock. The only trouble is when the big wave hits before you're ready.