Christmas Countdown

When I was little, the Christmas season kicked off one of three ways: 1) my brother and I attempting to put together our artificial Christmas tree (real ones are extremely expensive in Florida, or at were when I was a kid) 2) my hometown Christmas parade featuring marching bands with lights on their instruments and lots of folks in Santa hats on the back of pickup trucks or hand-made floats or 3) the Christmas pageant at our church with the craziness of a full orchestra and professional set and lighting design.

Now that I’m an adult, it’s never the same thing. Some years, it’s the first Sunday we light an advent candle at church, the selected family awkwardly reading the liturgy as their eldest child tries not to burn down the church. Others, it’s when we get a tree or put a wreath on the door or get our first Christmas card in the mail. Once I finally feel like it’s really Christmas, the countdown starts in my head (Today’s the 14th – only 11 days until Christmas!) and I let myself listen to the Rockin’ Christmas station on Pandora.

Last year, Christmas came and went in the blur that is the first few weeks of having a newborn. My parents came down for a week, my in-laws stopped by for the big meal, lots of gifts and the usual decorations and lights. I was just too tired and unfocused to enjoy it, though I did get a journal and a scarf from my mom, Matt, and my mother-in-law.

This year, Christmas started the day after Squirms’s birthday party. Church had wreaths that were available from the Boy Scouts (we completely missed any mention of pre-ordering) so we got one and stuck it up on our door. I started the Christmas station while Matt prepared dinner. Later in the week, I got Christmas cards and started hounding people for their addresses. (Our tree arrives tomorrow, via my father-in-law who always buys them from a nice man named Bud up in rural Pennsylvania.)

And, because this is Squirms’s first real Christmas, I am more than a little excited. And you’re going to have to put up with me sharing my excitement because I’m planning to post at least every few days about how we’re counting down to Christmas.

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Squirms even has her Christmas outfit already.

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