Are you feeling it yet? That Christmas feeling? It has taken me a while -- work kept me feeling a little Scrooge-like -- but I think I'm almost there. Here's my recipe:
1. Visit the Gävle Christmas Goat webcam from Sweden each night. This giant straw goat is something I stumbled on last year and I get a kick out of it. The webcam is there to protect the goat from would-be vandals -- he has been burned down 22 times over the last 41 years; check out the history for details -- so you kind of watch it to see if any pyros are lurking about, though I'm not sure exactly what one could do if someone were actually spotted. Last night I sat here and watched the sun come up over the square; really enjoyed that.
2. Keep the all-Christmas radio station here on in the car. Some songs just really take you there. As a close friend said to me today, "It's officially Christmas now. I heard Burl Ives sing 'Holly Jolly Christmas.'" The funny thing is that I hadn't heard it yet this year and not 15 minutes later, when I turned on the car, it was playing on the radio. And you know what? He was right.
3. Be done Christmas shopping and remove that stress.
4. Listen to holiday CDs while decorating the tree. Terribly original, I know, but it works.
5. Watch White Christmas every time it comes on TV. Love that movie. Much preferable to It's a Wonderful Life in my book, even with the weird, unChristmas-y production numbers.
And voilà! I'm ready for Christmas. Hey Santa, where's my gifts?