Christmas in October

There was a time when I thought of Christmas as a strictly December 25th kind of day. A day that marked the culmination of a week-long marathon of tree trimming, cookie baking, gift wrapping, and special plans with the children. This sometimes joyful, sometimes frantic crescendo of activity would go on till well past midnight on Christmas Eve, as my husband and I struggled to get things ready for "Christmas morning" (for the kids, that meant opening presents!) and for a big holiday dinner for the whole family. Finally, in the wee hours of the morning, we'd drop into bed—exhausted.

Then, with the first rays of sunlight, screams of delight would cut through the air. "Wake up! Wake up!" the kids would shout as they came running into our room. "It's Christmas!" And with that, the day would officially begin.

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