If your holiday season hasn’t started, well, sleigh bells are ringing.
When does the season begin?
When the first ads start appearing?
Months ago, when Christmas crafts and decorations began filling shelves and aisles at stores?
Did it begin with the four presentations of “The Nutcracker” to full houses at the Paramount Theatre?
Did it begin Friday, when shopping began in earnest across the city? Or even after Thanksgiving dinner, when shoppers pored over circulars or looked up deals online as the food digested? Probably more pleasant than the heartburn caused by the Cowboys (or the refs, who called 28 penalties) on TV.
Does it begin with City Sidewalks on Tuesday, when the Abilene Community Band plays holiday fare streetside before the lighted parade? (Their full holiday show is Dec. 14, at the Paramount)
Did it begin the first time you heard warnings about availability of gifts and supply chain issues for the holidays, and you ordered the Gravity Maze Marble Run Brain Game just in case.
Does it begin with the Abilene Philharmonic’s two holidays shows, this year featuring music from Christmas movies such as “The Polar Express?”
Does it begin when your neighbor put up his lights, or hires a local business to do it for them?
Did it begin when you put up your lights this year before your neighbor, just to throw coal on his extravagant plans?
Did it begin Friday evening with the opening of Winter Lightfest?
Does it begin Sunday, the first day of Advent, when the cornucopia gives way to a tret, lights and a manger scene?
Whenever it begins for you, it has begun for us.
After all, the low temperature finally hit freezing, just barely at 31 degrees overnight Monday. We almost made it to December without a freeze.
Philharmonic conductor David Itkin told us Friday that one thing that he always does this time of year is check the forecast for the holiday show. It has been warm too many times, which takes some of the zing out of “Winter Wonderland.”
The high Saturday is expected to be in the upper 50s, cool enough for a nice or ugly sweater.
The holiday season is a fun time in Abilene and the counties nearby. It could mean continued football for the best teams hoping Santa brings a state championship a few days before Christmas.
Music fans will celebrate Dec. 7, when that Little Ol’ Band from Texas returns to town for a concert at the Taylor County Coliseum. Wonder what a ZZ Top Christmas show is like? Hope they bring gifts because we know they “Just Got Paid Today.”
That show will contrast greatly with Christmas Vespers next Sunday at First Baptist or two TV presentations of Handel’s Messiah Dec. 10-11.
That’s same weekend as “White Christmas” at the Paramount.
Of course, a treat is grabbing hot chocolate or coffee concoction for a driving tour of holiday lights. Abilene Christian decorated early and Hardin-Simmons covers its trees in lights.
There are 5Ks or, if you want to drive, a cruise through Christmas Lane, which opens Dec. 6 at Abilene State Supported LIving Center.
We needed a lot of Christmas in 2020, but we still were reeling during a surge in COVID-19. The pandemic is not over but it has abated this year to where we can enjoy the season more this year.
A month from today, Christmas will have passed. So, as ZZ Top would say, get off your “Tush” and take time in the next few weeks to make merry.