I cannot tolerate all of December being overtaken by Christmas. I can't control what goes on outside our house, but I really tamp it down inside. Even Advent is getting on my nerves this year and I like the concept of waiting and reflection in theory, but in practice, I just want a cozy winter without all the Christmas decorations! and sugar! and glitter! and shopping! and events! I know some people think winter is boring without Christmas, but I find the revved-up pace of commercial Christmas hard to sustain or enjoy.
So, a few days ago, I got out our collection of Christmas music. We made one batch of Christmas cookies and I let the kids paint them with a simple cookie paint glaze. We got a Christmas tree (so much different from last year! I got to choose the tree entirely - it is slim and elegant; Mr. Thrift had to jury-rig the tree stand since last year's behemoth crushed it, so the tree can only stand straight since it's wired to the wall). I let the kids decorate the tree entirely - they broke two ornaments and fought most of the time. I have already announced (yelled) that we are not getting a tree next year because it was so unpleasant. Humph.
The big kids had already set up the manger scene by themselves, I had hung the stockings earlier and they are filled. We ate homemade St. Lucia buns on December 13, and I have Grandma's Christmas bread tucked away in the freezer for Christmas morning. Well, I guess we are getting rather Christmassy around here!