We got Christmas underway at our house at the earliest possible moment. After returning from Thanksgiving festivities on Friday, Noel gave me a couple of extra hours of sleep on Saturday morning and hauled out all the decorations in the meantime. All I had to do was assemble our little tree and recruit Cady Gray to help with the decorations.
Playing Santa was Noel's mode all weekend. He fired up the massive Christmas playlist on the iPod, set the DVR to record everything with "holiday" or "Christmas" in the description, and stacked our Christmas special DVDs high beside the television. And the spirit was infectious. Cady Gray and I started talking about the spirit of Christmas, and Archer sat raptly watching the new Elf on the Shelf special after dinner tonight. Every time a kid walks by our Christmas stockings, they can't resist jingling the little bells at the bottom.
It's a commonplace to complain about how quickly Christmas takes over the retail shelves and the Muzak airwaves. But in a year that has gone by like a flash, I suspect that the next month -- the rest of the holiday season -- will go by just as expeditiously. And I'm aiming to hold onto every precious emotion and moment of joy.