It's a day shy of November as I write this. Following a glorious autumn, the weather now reflects what is expected of this time of year. Temperatures have taken a nose dive. Skies are often dull and thick, heavy rains fall with a driving persistence. The S-word has been dropped from meteorologists on radio and television, and while we've avoided it to this point, it's just a matter of time before a good dumping of fluffy flakes buries our landscape in pristine white.
For a sun-loving, summer-savouring woman, who finds her little bit of heaven in long walks in the sand or lazy afternoons on the patio, the winds of seasonal change are tolerated not anticipated. It's the time of year when I look for ways to take my mind far away from talks of blizzards and whiteouts. Setting up dates to do things I enjoy with people I love goes a long way to making these next few months much shorter.
It was a few decades ago when, expecting my second child, I found out how much I enjoyed being an early Christmas shopper. Spreading out the purchasing over a few months put less stress on the limited budget and made attacking the long list less daunting. It didn't take long to see the other benefits too — no crowds, no big lines and no last-minute panic to find that popular soldout toy.
Also, since my daughter arrived just days before Christmas it turned out to be a really good thing that the shopping was done and all the presents were wrapped and under the tree before she made her entrance.
Of course, I'm not the only person who feels this way about the holiday shopping. There are increasingly more people in the malls and on the streets when I set out than there used to be. And to meet the demand merchants are on top of things already with areas of their businesses looking a lot like Christmas. Following the commemoration of Remembrance Day, every nook and cranny will be looking festive. Decorations put us in the spirit and suggestions for everybody's wish list will be front and centre.
To get the inspiration going even more, including for those folks like my hubby who won't think of shopping before mid-December, Christmas promotions will follow fast on the heels of Halloween. I can't wait. This season is the bright spot in what could otherwise be a dreary few months.
I can do my part also to get people in the mood, with these collections of holiday gift images to guide your thoughts toward the task ahead and inspire your festive projects:
iCLIPART.com Christmas Present Images
Clipart.com Christmas Gift Images