Bring on the Joy

I can feel it in the air. 
I can smell it in the stores. 
I can sense it surrounding me.
Holiday season is creeping in, quickly.

As I stood in line the other day at Starbucks, 
I was struck by the Christmas trees, the seasonal gift cards, the holiday mugs.  
Here it was, ready for me to absorb. 

Christmas seemed to jump up on us all this year, 
it was on speed dial, not even allowing Thanksgiving, 
barely Halloween, 
to have their moment in the sun. 
I find myself humming Christmas tunes 
and thinking that the streets look odd without snow 
clinging to the green and red wreaths 
that are already attached to the lamp posts. 

But unlike last year, where the holidays were met with dread 
and disgust for the work that came with it, 
the work that controlled my holidays to the point of joy-depletion, 
this year I am smiling as Christmas sits and waits for me at my doorstep. 
I'm opening the door and welcoming St. Nick in, 
bright and early. 
I'm making my lists and setting up shop at my kitchen table, 
stationary, pens and glitter tape in hand. 
I'm pulling out the cookie cutters, the flour and sugar and sprinkles. 
I'm thinking that it's time to give my standard music stations a rest 
and switch to some classic Christmas carols. 

So as I light my spruce candle 
and flag pages in the latest Martha Stewart Living, 
I'm ready and excited for the next several weeks. 

I feel joy. 

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