As I walked into Costco, there it was–the Christmas aisle. Like a great-aunt showing up on my doorstep, Christmas in September brings a mixture of irritation, anxiety and familiarity.

It’s happening everywhere. Christmas stuff is quietly slipping in through the back door. I’m still mourning the loss of summer and trying to find my fall decorations–it’s just not right to start throwing Christmas at me. I’m not ready for it.

Then again, it seems I’m never ready for Christmas. You’ve probably caught a glimpse of me across the aisle and laughed. Yeah, I’m that lady. Shopping the last days, even minutes before Christmas with a closet full of unwrapped presents back at home. Sure, I’ll tell you it’s because that’s when all the great sales are–truth is, I always wait until it “feels” like Christmas.

This is problematic. I want to create the “magic” of Christmas for my family. I love the aroma of cloves and cinnamon mingled with fresh pine. Who can resist the warm glow of candles burning, a fire in the fireplace or a good excuse to dress up and go to a party?  The problem is, it seldom goes quite like I imagine it.


Christmas always takes me by surprise. Each year brings new excuses reasons. The common denominator is failure to plan. Instead, I let it sweep me away.

I’d really like this year to be different.

If I’ve just described you too, you are welcome to join me over the next thirteen weeks, as I attempt to create a holiday season that inspires family closeness rather than debt, feasts that bring communion and health rather calories, and beauty that inspires rather than commercializes.

Here is what we will accomplish together.