A common refrain, down here in the South, is how hard it is to get into the Christmas mood when it’s still hot and muggy outside. We usually get a tease of a cold snap in October or November, but there’s just as good a chance we could be sporting shorts on Christmas day as anything else. (Today it’s supposed to get near 80Â°, for the record, 2 weeks before Christmas.)
So, when we can’t rely on Mother Nature to tell us when the holidays have arrived, what can we be on the lookout for?
The first think I look for is the lights, downtown. Since I still work in Tallahassee I still drive through downtown on my way to and from work and seeing the twinkle lights in the trees on Park Ave. always makes me smile. I think they leave them up all year, of course, but they officially turn them on at the Winter Festival, usually the first weekend of December. Seeing them peek through the leaves while I’m waiting for traffic to move makes me feel all warm and glowy inside.
The next thing is the music. Even though I rebel at listening to Christmas music before Thanksgiving (“one holiday at a time” is my mantra), when the local stations start slipping holiday tunes into the rotation (or switch formats completely and only play Christmas tunes) I can’t help but sing along. (Unless it’s Christmas Shoes… that song just needs to go away.) Holiday music is coming up on the 9th day of Blogmas (check back on the 21st) so I won’t go into the songs that are must-plays for me, but the list is long and varied.
One last sign of the season, for me, is the changes that happen at the office. The annual scramble for my coworkers to use up their vacation before the end of the year (we have a use it or lose it policy), the murmurings of when we’ll be closed for the holidays (we’ve got the week leading up to Christmas off, wohoo!), and the ‘don’t forget to do this by the 31st’ notes from our vendors. It’s certainly not a traditional holiday sign for most, but end of the year is a busy time for bookkeepers and it spills over into January and beyond. In fact, as much as I love when we get a week off for the holidays instead of the usual 2 days, the downside is that I still have to accomplish everything I do in a normal month, plus year-end stuff, in fewer days.
Not that I’m volunteering to work that week! My happy butt will be at home finishing up Christmas presents and baking and the paperwork will just have to sort itself out when we get back on the 28th!
Do you have any non-traditional signs of the holiday season?