The first thing I thought when I woke up this morning was:

Ow ow ow ow ow.

Not from my moderately successful return-to-yoga class this week, but from this:

The thing is, a grown-up leaf pile is not nearly as much fun as a kid leaf pile.   With a kid leaf pile, someone else does all the heavy lifting, and you get to jump in and make a huge mess, and then someone else puts it all back together.  A grown-up leaf pile involves doing all of the work yourself, including the work of figuring out you’ve missed loose leaf collection, and have to make an emergency run to Ace Hardware for leaf bags. Also, it involves waking up with awareness of whole muscle groups which have been blissfully unused since last year’s leaf fall.  Raking leaves is also hugely satisfying, and a very zen thing to do, and all of that.  A good thing, too, since I am not done yet.

Those of us who like to write, I think, are given to fits of both overstatement and understatement.  The following is in the latter category:  I don’t always transition well.  So here I am, like all the rest of us, in a post-Thanksgiving fog, hung over from all of the leftovers.  We’ve had a slew of seventy degree days, and it doesn’t even feel like leaf-raking weather, let alone Christmas tree weather. I’m not ready for another holiday yet.  I’m not even ready to get ready for another holiday yet.

This morning I was enjoying breakfast outside at Morning Times,  I was disoriented by the balmy, springlike late-November weather.

And just as I started on that biscuit (hung over from leftovers? Who said anything about leftovers?) this guy with a sax showed up on the corner, and started playing Christmas carols.  They were kind of slow and dirge-like and jazzy, but in a nice way.

It started to edge me towards a Christmas mood.  Not all the way in, by any means, but just standing and looking at it from afar.  That felt ok.  That felt almost reasonable.  So I went home and decorated the disco ball on my porch.

In the process, I also remembered that today is the first Sunday of Advent. Small epiphany: I am not ready for Christmas, because I am not supposed to be ready for Christmas.  Advent is about preparing, and waiting, and patience.  No matter that Christmas has been all over the shelves in any store you care to enter since before Halloween this year; Christmas will get here when it’s good and ready, and not before.  And that’s as it should be.

I held off on getting a Christmas tree.  I’m not feelin’ it yet, but I’m sure I will soon, either at the first cold snap, or the first time I hear “Blue Christmas” on the radio.  Until then, I’ve made some headway on the present-wrapping, and have a game plan for making quality time with all my dear ones a priority during the holidays, and have decided to combine the balmy weather and the Christmas garlands.

I still have leaves to rake, and am eyeing Christmas a little suspiciously right now.  But I suspect I’ll be overtaken by the Christmas spirit at some point.  It’ll come out of nowhere and surprise me, and I’ll be ready to embrace it.

I think.

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