In practice, I favor holding off on Christmas until Santa Claus rides in at the end of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, or maybe even until after Sinterklaasdag (6 December). In practice, it’s more lik eI hold off until the holiday season commences beating me about the hear and shoulders. This tends to be a bit on the early side, given that for me “holiday season” includes Chanukah, which can start as early as late November (December 8 this year) and also includes two family birthdays in early December. I conclude that it’s just started, given that I spent much of today thinking about gifts for my family and that just now I found myself whistling Stan Rogers’ “At Last, I’m Ready for Christmas.”

(At least, I’m ready for Christmas. I’ve even finished the tree;
Al last, I’m ready for CHristmas, like I though I’d never be;
With my feet propped up by a good hot fire and a matching inside glow;
At last I’m ready for Christmas, with nearly two hours to go! )

I had a brilliant idea for my parents, brother and SIL today, until I actually checked the prices of seeing a musical show in Philadelphia. Uh, maybe not; back to the drawing board. (Decent tickets are over $100 per person. I need to start internalizing the idea of not having any income next year. We’ve saved money to live well enough and I can give presents that aren’t macaroni and glitter glued on cardboard, but there’s a long way between that and what Broadway shows cost even 60 miles from B’way!) I need to think of presents for them that are experiences or consumables or even charitiess, because we all have too damned much stuff.

The other thing about holiday challenges is that they become more complicated when you have an intercontinental move, not to mention figuring out how to finish the actual Holiday Challenge, right in the middle of December.