For me, the countdown starts properly with the first Sunday in Advent.
As a student, this was the day when I decorated my room, but that was because I wouldn't be in residence at Christmas. Once I became more settled, this was the day when I decided who would receive which card and when I started writing my Christmas letters. I lit the first candle of my Advent ring, ate my first mince pie of the season, drank a glass or two of Gewürztraminer and listened to the Christmas music of the Messiah, while I pencilled names on the back of cards.
This is a tradition I continue to this day. Most of my cards are now made, and those that are have all been allocated, with names pencilled in on envelopes and the back of cards. Letters and cards are yet to be written, but that will be the joy of the coming days.
I know that later this week, we will start decorating our offices under the direction of team members who are as enthusiastic as I am myself.