Christmas seems to come early to the Jernagan household. Usually it gets here before Thanksgiving.
In fact, this year it arrived before Halloween. At some point in early October, my dealmaking three-year-old son negotiated the right to put up his miniature bedroom Christmas tree at the first snow.
Little did we know that the first snow would come on Oct. 28.
Those fleeting flakes were met with much excitement.
"I want to build a snowman and go sledding, and ... and ... and ..." he said that magical day.
At three, he doesn't exactly understand how that first, crummy snow of the year works, but he does understand how a promise works.
And so, before the end of the day, a tree was up.
Those things have a way of catching on. Within two weeks, the big tree was up in the living room, and not long after that, we started shopping for the things to go under it.
Now we have a tree that can't contain the gifts beneath it, not to mention the shopping that still needs to be done. On our last shopping excursion, we noticed that the frigid winds and ridiculous crowds had returned, and it's not even Black Friday yet.
For me, though, the Christmas spirit really comes down to the music, and I think I caught the bug on Saturday.
On that evening, after years of considering it, I finally bought the soundtrack to "A Charlie Brown Christmas."
Why this didn't happen years ago, I can't say. I love the small jazz ensembles of the '50s and '60s and I love Christmas music.
What Vince Guaraldi and his rhythm section gave us is a magical mix of the two.
From the improvisational versions of classic Christmas songs to Guaraldi originals, every minute of the album makes me smile.
Smiling all the time. Isn't that one of the wonders of Christmas?
I love this album. I'm glad I own it. Now I just have to get primed for that moment I love each year when the Peanuts kids grace my television.
That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown. (The blogger repeats while wiping away a single tear.)