not gonna lie...

Okay. Here it is: I'm actually listening to Christmas music today. I know. I know it's super early. And I'm usually the one saying, can you wait just a little longer?? It's the first week of November, for crying out loud!!

But I can't help it.

I blame it on being outside a lot yesterday, enough to get chilled right through. The air had that cold smell, that Decemberish smell.

I blame it on going to the mall and seeing those gaudy fake snowflakes hanging everywhere...

I blame it on some brilliant gift and cooking plans for the holidays.

So, I caved in. And now there's Christmas music.

The Nutcracker theme is playing right this minute. It reminds me of gingerbread and mittens and the way snowy nights are never really dark. (It also reminds me of the smell of my elementary school gym, squeaky bleachers, and jittery nerves before our Christmas production. So there you go.)

But seriously! There's something about colder weather. You want to bake something with cloves in it. You think about making stews. You find yourself trying on one woolen sweater after another. You start ordering 1940s Christmas movies. It gets in your skin like that.

And if you're like me, you start hunting for your copy of T.S. Eliot's "Journey of the Magi."

(If the above link is your first time with this poem, read it yourself first before letting T.S. read it to you. He has such an unusual voice that I usually absorb that and accidentally forget the poem. Okay, I confess, and then I practice mimicking him. I still think a good T.S. Eliot impression is a skill worth perfecting.)

Maybe "Magi" isn't very Christmasy in the traditional way, but I always find myself reading it in the weeks (okay, months) before December 25.

No matter how many times I've read it, it still surprises me, somehow. In fact, maybe it's best read now, in early November, because it's about the journey toward Christmas, right? About the way that journey shifts you. How it moves some things around, how it makes room for more than just trees and ornaments and pies. 

So, maybe I'm not apologizing at all for this early Christmas celebration. Maybe it's the exact and perfect time.

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