Holiday excitement hit early in these parts. We started our annual Christmas puzzle in October (I know, I know) and have gone through no less than three sacks of flour since. The garden rosemary is dwindling; the cinnamon restocked twice. For two weeks now, I’ve passed the hallway and smiled at the quiet glow of Bee’s room as she sleeps next to her own personal Christmas tree.
I have, in the past, felt Grinchy about Christmas. I’ve never been a shopper or an entertainer or a caroler, and I’m certainly no hustle-and-bustler. I’m ever-prone to the winter blues if the sun goes into hiding for more than a few days, and it’s often felt as if the season called for a different version of myself than I could offer.
But this year, I started early. Eased into it. Gave myself some time to think about the things that do come naturally to me: affirming words, creative gifts, thoughtful interactions. Eating pie.
(Christmas doesn’t sound so bad this year.)
And behold, a short list of gift-giving ground rules emerged that I can’t help but notice are infusing this particular season with more magic than years past: