Did I start to decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving? Why yes, I believe I did. I have not put up a Christmas tree yet, but there are lights and garland and nativity scene in the living room, plus lights, garland and silk pointsettias in the study. The craptaculous year; the darkness falling at quarter past five p.m.; our Elders and Betters, those purveyors of atheistic puritanism, trying to ration our (but not their own) holiday cheer with eyedroppers: the confluence of all these calls for laying it on early, and laying it on thick. As you can see, Scarlett the Cat, Mistress of All She Surveys, thoroughly approves.
Nor will Advent get short shrift. There are not one, but two Advent wreaths; and the outside lamps will shine purple (pink for the week beginning with Gaudete Sunday). As Advent is a penitential season, I will deign to forego a chocolate or whiskey Advent calendar, though there might be a hot buttered rum on a cold Sunday evening.
Despite the disasters and anxieties that this year has brought, I for one have a lot to be thankful for. In discouraging times, praise, thanksgiving and cheer are still the best medicines.