So, Christmas is less two weeks away and I’ve hung a wreath. And not even a proper leafy green wreath… it’s more like a faux craft Target clearance wreath.

And my desk at work… well, there’s my silver tree and a candle holder without a candle.

I have one Christmas CD in my car.

And I’ve been buying my gifts on an as-needed basis. Like, “Oh, I need a White Elephant gift tomorrow? To Target!”

I love Christmas, I really do. Christmas fills me with joy and good intentions. Driving through brightly lit towns and neighborhoods makes me smile, and wandering through the sparkling stores makes me want to wrap presents and bake cookies and stuff. But blame it on living in the warmest corner of the country, a busy re-entry into work life after Thanksgiving travels, or catching a cold that wouldn’t let go… it’s somehow been really really hard to get into the swing of it this year.

Am I the only one? Is it possible for Christmas to sneak up on you when the stores have trees up before Halloween? Maybe it has something to do with the nature of Advent too… as the weeks get closer, the joy and anticipation builds. Instead of diving into a storm of decorating and Christmas music and shopping as soon as the Thanksgiving dishes are cleaned up, I need to ease into it.

Because right now, I’d totally like to watch Elf and bake some snickerdoodles. I want to go track down some Christmas lights and — gasp — go shopping.

Yep, that sounds like a good plan.