An early approach to Christmas cheer

In the past couple of weeks, I've heard debates about how soon we should start to prepare and celebrate Christmas and now I'm throwing my hat into the ring.

I guess the fact that I'm writing a column about Christmas before we've even hit Thanksgiving should be some indication of what my thoughts are.

It should be noted, too, that I started putting up "winter" decorations last month.

There is, however, a difference between "winter" and Christmas decorations as I explained to my husband, who is a staunch believer that we should wait until after Thanksgiving.

Winter decorations include my candle holders, decorated with snow brushed trees, and my penguin mugs.

John has graciously allowed my not-so-sneaky attempts to bring Christmas early, which also included a new music playlist we may have listened to in the car … on occasion.

He once jokingly said it's because I'm a winter baby — I turn 22 in December – but I'm pretty sure even if I had been born in the sticky heat of August, I would still love Christmas.

I was excited the first time I walked into Kohl's and saw their small, but growing Christmas section and likewise, I was thrilled with the random snowfall in October.

I waited patiently for XM radio's Christmas station to air this past Monday and I'm counting down to Sunday when ABC Family's Countdown to the 25 Days of Christmas starts, which in itself is kind of amusing.

I remember when it was just the 25 Days of Christmas but I guess somewhere along the line they added a countdown to the countdown. I'm not complaining!

Obviously, Christmas is not just about those things.

I'm excited for the family dinners approaching – including Thanksgiving, I didn't forget — and for the opportunity to give gifts to those I love.

I also recognize the deeper meaning behind our celebration and am eagerly awaiting the Christmas Eve service at Christ Fellowship Church. It's just a really special evening with really great people, praising a really awesome Savior.

After all, Jesus is the reason for the season.

I am well aware of how polarized I am by getting excited so early, from the playful jabs from my husband to the not-so-friendly remarks from others. Know this, though: I don't neglect the other holidays leading up to Christmas.

I can multitask. I can count down to the Christmas radio stations at the same time as I enjoy Halloween decorations and plan routes for taking my little sister trick-or-treating.

I can smile in anticipation when I pass the Santa Claus cookie jar on my table as I head to Thanksgiving dinner with my family and savor the tastes and smells of turkey, potatoes and chocolate pie.

I am thankful every day, not just on Thanksgiving, for the people in my life and the blessings I have been given. I don't forget the earlier holidays and I don't skip them.

It just so happens that I start celebrating Christmas a tad earlier than most and to be honest, I don't really think it would be a bad thing if we applied the giving spirit and cheer that is so prevalent during this holiday to the other seasons of the year.

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