Is it me or did Christmas come early this year?

Traditionally, the Christmas decorating doesn’t start until after Thanksgiving—for many families, it’s part of a ritual weekend that kicks off the holiday season.  Thursday—Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends.  Friday—shopping!  Saturday—put up the Christmas tree.

Yet this year people got a jump on the holiday.

Last week, during my nightly evening walk, I passed a house with their Christmas tree lit and visible through a big bay window.  It was a beautiful tree, covered in twinkling white lights and topped with a star.

Pretty, I thought, but an earlier outlier.  It was still over a week to Thanksgiving.

I was wrong.

Two houses down, I saw another tree through the window.  Then I passed a manager scene set up on a front lawn.  Outdoor lights were everywhere.

Did I have my days mixed up?  Did I miss Thanksgiving?

It was confirmed that I didn’t when I passed a house with a huge blow up sleigh and reindeer lit in the front yard.  The house across the street still had their Halloween decorations up.  Another house had a tree in the window but pumpkins and a cornucopia on the front stoop.

It wasn’t me.  Christmas had come early.

Just about every other house had some sort of Christmas decoration up either inside or outside the house.

I too had the urge to put my tree up earlier than usual.  Normally, I’m lackadaisical about this project, sometimes skipping it altogether.  Thanksgiving weekend I start thinking about the tree, and sometimes get it up promptly, other times waiting until a week or two before Christmas.

But this year I had the urge to put it up in early November, despite the uncommonly warm, sunny weather that didn’t make it look a bit like Christmas. 

I put my tree up yesterday, and when I went for my evening walk yesterday, about three-quarters of the houses were decorated.  In fact, I’d bet that everyone who plans to decorate has done it already.

There’s something in the air.

I think it’s hope.