The little marketplace area near where we live always puts its Holiday decorations up the weekend after Halloween, which coincided with the time change this year (no idea if it has every year though). So, when we drive home from "school" every day, it's starting to get dark and we are able to see the decorations festively lit. This combined with the chillier weather is starting to get me in a little bit of a Holiday spirit!
I get a feeling of peace, and an anticipation of time spent with family and friends, fun gatherings, good food, mouthwatering scents, hot cocoa and Baileys, and warm, rich red wines. My daughter is getting old enough to start really "getting it" this year. My son was born on Christmas Eve last year, so this is his first real go at it. I am excited about their reactions and experiences, and building new memories and traditions as a family.
I have warm, wonderful memories of the Holiday Season from my childhood, and it all revolves around family. I want to create that feeling and warmth for my children. I want to give them a foundation from which to grow when they are older and have families of their own. I want them to be able to close their eyes and be able to remember - to feel, smell and taste the Holidays any time of year.
These last two months of the year are such a treat. Everyone seems just a little nicer, more generous, and slightly more relaxed. So in their honor, I think I'll go home tonight, throw on some warm clothes, light my pumpkin candles, have a glass of red wine, and sit on the floor playing with my kids. Sounds like a nice way to kindle my budding Holiday Spirit.