In younger years, I would have an interesting reason for being outside at midnight. Alas, my reason was not prosaic at all ... Bo Peep was hurting from what is probably an ear infection (we are incapable of having a holiday without some sort of illness) and I was scrounging around in the minivan for the bottle of ear drops we had to buy for her last infection.
Nonetheless, the night was lovely. It is warm here, so I was outside in a tank top and barefeet. (And jeans ... though without would have made for a more interesting story.) My neighbor across the cul-de-sac has two-story front windows, and they already have a giant tree up inside, lit with white lights.
So, the Christmas season has officially begun. We have no decorations up yet, but it has officially begun for us, as well. We have an official beginning, you see. I have this old Firestone Christmas album from when I was a kid, with the New Christy Minstrels singing, "We Need a Little Christmas." Every year, we put away the autumn decorations, then we go around one by one, answering the question, "Are you really ready to begin Christmastime?" Once it is unanimous, we play the song. We dance around like lunatics, Mom and Dad dancing with each kid for a few seconds before putting that one down and moving on to the next. Round and round and round. The Husband's Mother is here, and she is as much a holiday lover as I am, so she joins in.
I was still able to pick up The Boy and dance with him. Next year, he might be too big.
Every year, we use the same song for our "official Beginning of Christmastime song." This year, the words have greater meaning. I suppose everything does.
"For I've grown a little leaner,
Grown a little colder,
Grown a little sadder,
Grown a little older,
And I need a little angel
Sitting on my shoulder,
Need a little Christmas now."