The first weekend in December (the week after DH's birthday) is the first time that I'm "allowed" to start celebrating Christmas. This year it's fortunate as well because Dec 1 falls on the weekend so we've got all weekend to start the festivities.
The first thing that always happens is that we set up our Christmas tree. With its 100s of shining lights, boxes of red glass baubles that reflect the glittering lights and then all of the special non-matching decorations. The monkey's bell, the girls' willowtree angels, the Elfling's Santas and fairies, then all of the baubles that Mum and Dad have given us over the years. The end result is not what you'd call a David Jones masterpiece but it is pretty, and it tells a story. Every decoration the Elfing held up to the light and asked about where it came from and we talked about different Christmasses, some before she was born, while Bing and Sinatra floated through the air.
We then set up our little nativity set and talked about the story of Jesus as we put out the manger and the stable and the animals (which our heathen children were getting confused with "Mary had a Little Lamb"). Then we looked at the prettiness for a while before the Monkey absconded with the three wise men and the Elfling did handstands in front of the tree.
This afternoon I am going to crack open the girls dress patterns and start the pinning for their dresses (I now have material for both). This week the Elfling and I bought cookie cutters as well so we will be making some Christmas cookies for our breakup gifts and for various family members, and I will probably start making rum balls and other things that smell (and TASTE) good. Tuesday is the Elfling's end of year breakup for daycare and I have promised her that later in the week we will go to the forest.
I also have a pile of presents as high as the roof to wrap and to strategically arrange under the tree, bottles of chocolate irish cream to make and drink in front of various carols and other assorted frivolity. I konw it's extravagant and decadent to celebrate Christmas like this when so many are not, but I am not a martyr and for one selfish time of the year I like to believe that there is hope and joy and merriment in the world for all.