So I shit you not. The license plate of that vintage automobile driven by that charming elderly couple wearing very distinctive holiday costumes is GNGL BLZ.
It's enough to look for signs of Christmas cheer.
* The Lego Advent Calendar is opened and pillaged and fought over
* Strange packages arrive that Mom and Dad won't open and often can't remember ordering
* The great debate of "Do we get the tree BEFORE or AFTER Big T's birthday" begins.
* Mom lets the kids choose Christmas music in Spotify
* The conversation in the car turns simultaneously to A. Honoring other religious holidays besides Christmas, B. Where those holidays come from, C. If we're pagan why do we celebrate Christmas again?, and, my personal favorite, D. "Why does religion seem to spawn so many wars?" (Ugh. True, but I could do without this discussion once a year. It makes me want to stab several people with a Yule log.)
* We start watching "forbidden" movies-- Love Actually, Die Hard, Santa Clause is Coming to Town, Gremlins, the Apartment, The Thin Man-- that we save for this month actually, because otherwise they shall become commonplace, like Christmas lights left out all year long.
* Speaking of Christmas lights, uh, Mate, when were we gonna...?
* The animals get all excited because a TREE just MAGICALLY APPEARS in the INSIDE and not the OUTSIDE and we NEED TO EXPLORE THIS MADNESS!
* I start making plans to fry chicken, a thing I do once or twice a year, usually for Christmas Eve
* Mate and I plan his week before Christmas off to the last detail. FTR? We usually blow this plan in the first day.
* Mate starts looking up recipes for fudge.
* I start singing carols to the kids at random times when they least expect it.
* I KNIT LIKE THE WIND! ONLY SEVEN HUNDRED MORE CHRISTMAS ITEMS TO GO!
* OH. OMG. Like I was writing this list and it suddenly occurred to me that I NEEDED TO WRITE MY CHRISTMAS LETTER, like this week. Like I'm trying to finish a book and edit the SBC and I NEED TO WRITE MY CHRISTMAS LETTER RIGHT NOW AND...
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...