When Christmas came early

It’s been a long time since I’ve felt any sort of Christmas spirit, something I’ve chalked up to working in retail. Working at a craft supply store was worst, because it meant Christmas started at the end of June. But it’s been two years since I left my job, and this year, the first glimmer of Christmas spirit came back at the beginning of November.

From decorating plans to preparing gifts, we started everything a little earlier this year. And because of my husband’s work schedule and the fact he’s to work Christmas Eve, we decided to take our holiday visit with my family a little sooner, too.

I don’t think it could have worked out more beautifully. The Christmas magic was with us from the moment we got in the car. We packed the trunk full of coats and blankets and even some gifts. And once we got to the last hour of the drive, we were driving through light flurries. Once we reached my family’s home and had the car unloaded, flurries turned into the perfect Christmastime white winter coating.

It was just magnificent. Fat white snowflakes, a good wet snow to stick to everything. My Mom being the Christmas fanatic she is, there were even garlands up on the kitchen cabinets and a small tree already in the corner of the living room.

We watched the snow falling on the trees, still lit with brilliant mid-November colors. We watched neighbors wave as they drove by and watched everything turn blue outside as night fell. Deer played in the fields behind the house and we watched them through the afternoon and evening.

Inside, we were laughing and relaxing, telling stories and dreaming about the future. Family played games and I taught my sisters to fold origami cranes. We ate a delicious home cooked meal together. We celebrated, just like it was Christmas.

Back home, we’d already gotten gifts; new phones (free with contract renewal), new video games, and a stand mixer for me to use for my holiday baking. We spent the whole weekend feeling blessed and prosperous, and when we watched the sun rise into a blue sky on the day of our departure, it felt just like the morning after Christmas.

As we headed home, we left behind all the snow, making it clear that even the snow was a special gift, just so we could really feel like we had the holidays together. Just like magic.

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