How the heck did it get to be the Christmas season?
Every year I sail through November, thinking that I'll have plenty of time to get things ready before the madness begins. And every year, Thanksgiving comes and goes in a wash of stuffing and cranberry sauce, and after a few hours of lying on the couch groaning, I look at the calendar and realize that Christmas is mere weeks away. At which point the panic sets in.
My problem, I think, is that I refuse to think about Xmas -- on principle -- until after the last bit of cranberry sauce is gone and the kids have cracked the wishbone. But if you wait that long, you're almost too late.
I will tell you, though, that my favorite part of Christmas is that first time you go to Central Market and see all the European chocolates wrapped up in gold paper like little presents, and the smell of fresh baked bread, and the carols piping through the speakers... Christmas is an abstraction at that point, a pleasant diversion, not a deadline.
I love that abstraction, by the way, and adore the scents of gingerbread and Christmas trees and bayberry candles, and paper snowflakes and frosted windows. Oh, and homemade fudge -- if you haven't tried Maggie Sefton's mint fudge, you're missing out.
Hopefully I'll get most of the shopping done this week, and can spend the rest of the season downing eggnog and feeling smug. (Hope springs eternal, I guess.) In any case, hope your holiday seasons are off to a good start, and I'll be thinking of you as I take down the rest of the Halloween decorations! (Or glue Christmas stockings to the pumpkins.)