Listen, you don't even need to say it.
I know: I agree: it doesn't feel like Christmas, not yet.
Every second conversation seems to start that it doesn't feel like Christmas, I can't believe it is nearly Christmas, it is coming too fast.
Like you can stop the speed of time because it doesn't suit.
But it is true: This is not Christmas.
Churches correctly call it Advent, a season of preparation for Christmas. It is school break- ups, work dos, neighbourhood barbecues, social club Christmas dinners, a few annual meetings and plans for the summer holidays. It is all that and Christmas sales in the stores, Santa parades, greeting cards to be sought and sent, presents to be bought and wrapped, trees to be decorated - and eventually turkeys to be thawed and stuffed.
So whether we like it or not, whether it is coming like a train too fast or just catching us flat- footed and slow, Christmas is on the way. And there's still time to think what to make of it.
For more than 2000 years Christmas has been the highlight of every single year, through war and peace, flood and famine, drought and despair, Christmas day has dawned bringing a sense of hope for our future.
The birth of the Christ child has been acclaimed every year in most every country ever since, as it will be here on Christmas Eve and for the 12 days which follow.
Now for most of us it is the best time with family and friends, love and food and festivities - the lot.
But for some it is the loneliest worst time with everyone else carousing and they not, families divided by death, divorce, illness, imprisonment or just not enough people left around. It happens and more than we think.
Let's just hope that those who feel left out of the general fun can find some memory of past joy or future hope to sustain them and that they can bear everyone else chanting lists of presents and people without going battily mad.
If you have never had a lonely Christmas, chances are one day you may. Because that, too, is Christmas but not as we know it.
And it is not Christmas yet.
- © Fairfax NZ News