December 21, 2012

When Does It Feel Like Christmas? (If You Celebrate Christmas, That Is. Because Otherwise It Probably Never Feels Like Christmas.)

My mom and dad watch the show The Closer, and my mom was telling me about a funny part in an episode where the people on the show have to handle a big mass-murder thing right at Christmas. The guy doing one autopsy after another looks up from the corpse he's working on and says something like, "You know how there's always that moment where it suddenly Feels Like Christmas? Yeah. This year, not so much."

My mom's real point, besides trying to get me to watch the show, is that she heard that and thought to herself, YES, there IS always a moment where it suddenly feels like Christmas, so she was asking if it felt like Christmas to me yet, and I said not quite yet but almost.

There are a few times when I generally notice it Really Feeling Like Christmas:
  • When I've successfully sent the kids off to school on that last day with all their cards for bus drivers and teachers (a project that frazzles me and is so satisfying to complete)

  • When the kids come home from their last day of school before Christmas vacation

  • The night before, when I'm reading in the living room and I keep admiring the Christmas tree and thinking about how excited the kids will be in the morning (that excitement is more appealing and sweet in thought than in action)

  • When we go on the Christmas Eve Light-Viewing Drive

There are also little sub-points, where it feels like Christmas but doesn't Feel Like Christmas: when I'm doing Christmas cards; when Christmas cards start arriving in the mail; when we put up the Christmas lights; when I'm actively shopping for Christmas gifts; when I'm wrapping Christmas gifts; when radio stations start playing Christmas music; when I re-read the Maeve Binchy Christmas short stories; when it seems appropriate to buy egg nog.

When does it usually feel like Christmas to you?

19 comments:

call me nora said...

Today. For some reason this is it. Maybe had something to do with the impending apocalypse? No, but in all seriousness, I looked at the calendar and said "4 sleeps!!?!" And boom, excited. It now officially feels like Christmas.

Caitlin said...

- When I set up my collection of carolers (the only thing i really 'collect' - my mom does, to, so setting them up reminds me of childhood Christmas).
- When we're at my aunt's Christmas party, where it's been the same menu and same timing and same people and same everything for my entire life. THAT is when it feels like Christmas. It's like...ah! HERE we are again! Yes!
- And now, when Zach makes his cinnamon rolls Christmas Eve, which we eat Christmas morning with mimosas. It's become our very own tradition, and I love that.
- Oh, and watching It's a Wonderful Life, which we do every year since I was a kid, and I make Zach suffer through it with me now, whether he likes it or not (jury's still out).

Caitlin said...

My mom does TOO! Too! Ack! ...great shame.

Alice said...

hmm.. hopefully, when i go up to my mom's house in NJ? since it certainly isn't YET.

PinkieBling said...

It usually Feels Like Christmas once I have all the gifts wrapped and set out. I always, always, ALWAYS put off wrapping, so it's usually 1-2 days before Christmas.

Gigi said...

It usually starts to feel like Christmas about two days into my annual (almost 2 week) vacation. So right about now.

And then I panic, whether I need to or not, about what I haven't done yet.

Elizabeth said...

I'm not sure. Oddly it doesn't yet, but maybe when I'm done with all the grocery shopping I have hanging over my head? So far it just feels like a list of tasks to get through.
Tonight though I'm going to the Nutcracker, so maybe then? I am hopeful.

Jana said...

It feels like Christmas to me when all the gifts have been purchased and I get to have my annual gift wrapping evening. I drag all the wrapping paper, bags, tissue paper, etc., into the living room in front of the TV and wrap/label all the gifts while watching "Love Actually" and sipping on either a glass of wine or a cup of hot cocoa (depending on the weather). Nothing says Christmas like the combination of my favorite British actors, wrapping paper and alcohol.

Kimberly said...

When I'm home from work and I don't have to return until after the holiday (so, about noon on Monday). And, driving home from wherever on Christmas Eve...hardly any other cars, the Christmas lights are turned on all over town, and I imagine everyone is gathered and home with their families.

Sara said...

I get a headstart on christmas and have my first feels like christmas moment the first week in November when attending the taping of the annual CMA country christmas. The place is decked out like a christmas wonderland, and it snows, IN THE BUILDING, and we get to dress up like it's christmas (its requested since it's tape and shows audiance footage from time to time.) It's always kinda funny, we take some form of public transportation from our hotel to the event every year, this past year we road in a hotel shuttle with 13ish other people NOT attending the show. We had on (tasteful) christmas sweaters and I had a wreath headband on because OH YES! Finally I told everyone what we were doing, but it was fun to see the looks we got anyway! It's weird that probably ne of my favorite things about christmas happens more than a month in advance, but I think why I enjoy it so much is it's pre holiday stress. It's a time to be with the people I love the most, meeting new people and making friends with folks who love the artists as much as we do, songs that have been sung 1000 times by 1000 people seem somehow new and refreshed. It's just a beautiful thing. (If you wanna watch it, and missed it last night, ABC is showing it again Saturday night and Sunday afternoon).

Slim said...

When we are piled into the minivan and headed to my parents' to join up with all my siblings.
There a flickers throughout the weeks beforehand, but it doesn't really stick until Jim Dale tells me Marley is dead.

Christina said...

I haven't really felt it this year, to be honest!
But usually I agree on most points. Putting up or turning on the lights on the tree. Buying eggnog, Christmas movies on TV. One of the main ones is wrapping the gifts and seeing them accumulate under the tree. Lately the cards going out/coming in hasn't felt Christmassy. I guess b/c I normally hang them up, but haven't this year.
I don't have kids yet, so Christmas with only adults is pretty blah now that I think about it. No wonder I'm not in the mood!!!

Dr. Maureen said...

It varies for me, but this year all I can say is "not yet." It has been a difficult month.

Life of a Doctor's Wife said...

I think snow helps. And seeing a tree lit with Christmas lights and surrounded by presents. And getting that first card in the mail.

But I don't know... maybe, for me, there's just some accumulation of varying Christmas elements - songs on the radio, "Merry Christmas!"es shared over cash registers, plates of goodies exchanged, boxes left on the porch by the UPS guy, cards taped to the mantle - that eventually reaches a Christmas-feeling tipping point. This year, I've felt pretty Christmas-spirit-y all week long. It's such a lovely feeling. I wish it would last longer... but then I would probably take it for granted.

twisterfish said...

For me it's when I do my cookie-bake-athon (two days of baking dozens and dozens of cookies) and when the kids only have a day or two left of school. The getting ready stage (cookies and teacher gifts) is when it hits me.

Surely said...

Usually right about now. We're (mostly) done shopping. I'm wrapping presents, watching Christmas movies, and hanging out with Kevin. This is the only time of year he has consecutive days in a row off so it adds to the holiday.
I even forgive him whistling Deck The Halls. (:-D

Anonymous said...

When we are done with the shopping - for both food and presents, and in our 'reclusive except for visiting family' phase. We are in that phase now, yay!

Lindsay

CAQuincy said...

My daughter's birthday is Dec 23, and we always wake up the day after all the birthday fun and say, "Hey! It's Christmas Eve! Tomorrow's Christmas!"

...and that's typically when I finally get around to baking the Swistle mint chocolate brownies. Oh My Heavens!

Joanne said...

I am ready to kill everyone in my house and all I can think is that it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.