The way I look at it, the holidays officially start the day the Christmas Tree arrives at Rockefeller Center in New York. Not is lit - but arrives - horizontal on a truck. Watching it being erected and decorated, to me, is part of the magic of the season. Religion aside, the holidays are all about anticipation. Looking forward to seeing friends and family, to those wonderful meals - oh the food. You may have missed it, but down here, we are all about the food.
And, yes, the hustle and bustle. Let's face it, we'd miss it if we finished our shopping in September, had our cooking and baking done and frozen by October, and had all the halls decked and trimmed by early November. You can only sit around and drink so much eggnog watching everyone else in the spirit.
But it's a tricky dance. The tree in NY arrives in mid-November and we still have Thanksgiving to go. So while you are trying to find Aunt Mary Martha's oyster dressing recipe you promised you'd make this year, you are starting to make your lists. And yes, that is plural. Cookie list - how many good souls deserve a dozen or so of your homemade sugar cookies. Decorations list - what needs to be replaced in your collection of well worn ribbons and balls that adorn the house. (Or, is this the year you spring for a new theme? Hum, have to think about that one.) The Christmas card list - make sure you have everyone's correct address, etc. (And, God knows that dreaded family picture.) And last, but not least, THE LIST - the gift list. Since I am not one organized enough to buy gifts through out the year, this is the time, the rubber hits the road.
I anxiously await the first sound of a Christmas carol on the radio, actually now it is when XM radio launches their Holiday Channels, not when you hear the obnoxious sound of "Frosty" coming from the aisle in Lowes. It is when the child in all of us comes out - when that truck turns the corner at Rockefeller Plaza and we are off and running.