By necessity, because we have gifts to ship overseas to family, and because when we get our tree this weekend, we will be among the first in Vienna to have one, we spend the early weeks of the Christmas season shopping, planning, wrapping and packing and the last 10 days or so decorating and mostly just enjoying this festive time of year. This is pretty much the reverse of what I used to do, when I would decorate as soon as it was considered decent to do so and then spend the latter part of December feeling frantic about gifts and shopping, usually right up until the last minute.
It’s great. There are 11 days until Christmas Eve, and we’ve wrapped and packed all of our gifts for the States (the last box will ship tomorrow — a week later than I’d planned). I wrapped B’s teachers’ gifts today and I’ll start on wrapping the boys’ tomorrow. Jo & I did some brainstorming and menu planning for the holiday week today (things here are complicated by the fact that shuts down at noon on the 24th and doesn’t open again until the 27th — plus, of course, everything is closed on the 23rd because it’s a Sunday) and we’ll start shopping for our holiday meals tomorrow.
There are still cookies to be baked, a tree to be trimmed and stockings to be hung, but most of the pressure is already off. I like doing things this way (although I do wish we already had our tree). Dan and Benjamin have one more week of work and school, but I already feel like our holiday is truly beginning.