Getting an early start on Christmas

Confession time.

I hate that the retail stores have been decorating for over a month. I used to hate that people would string their outside Christmas lights and turn them on before Thanksgiving; it just didn’t seem “traditional.”

This year, to hell with traditions rooted in childhood. Winter’s too long, the sunshine too short, and with seasonal affective disorder lurking in the shadows, I have learned to slow down, appreciate what’s pretty and enjoyable, and let go of traditions that no longer fit that recipe.

People have been putting up their Christmas lights for a week or so; our tee-shirt weather is definitely favorable for it. This year I started early, too, my goal to accomplish one Christmas thing per day, starting in early November, so that it would take little effort. My goal wasn’t just decorating, but anything to do with Christmas and its prep. I started indoors, with small things. A couple Christmas pillows one day, the wreath up on the fireplace another, gift certificates purchased with a phone call, gifts on amazon and shipped for free, then candles (that flicker and burn on timers!),  some lighted ceramics and more. Day by day, a transformation from leather furniture and lush Oriental rugs to carefree holiday joy.  I love changing pillows; so fast, so festive, a quick way to make over the whole mood of a room.

Outdoors came later, but was finished –I thought– days ago. My husband suggested we drape clear lights on the split rail fence that runs along the street in front; I was all for it! We had extra lights, then he wanted to continue along the fence to the neighbors’ drive, and they said, Sure!

And this year, I <gasp> turned on the outside lights early. It’s beautiful! The new LED lights are so bright and crisp. Net lights are a breeze, so I’ve been replacing the temperamental old strings. Oops, almost said old-fashioned, as in non traditional.

My conclusion: what’s the point of doing all the decorating between Thanksgiving and Christmas, just to take it down after the New Year? This year, I’m getting to enjoy all the pretties for weeks longer. I might even leave it until, oh, the end of January?

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