Where is the Christmas magic?

I really hate to say this, but I don't feel Christmassy one bit. This year, Christmas has seemed to have sprung up out of nowhere - in my mind the (non-existent) summer seems to have only just finished. And now it seems that Christmas is only a week or two away. Yes, the last week or so has been chilly, but so far the weather seems to have just been autumny rather than winter.

I went Christmas shopping this morning and felt like I was just going through the motions. I have been putting off buying Christmas cards so far because I haven't seen any that have caught my attention - they all seem to be a bit bland and cheap-looking, even in shops like M&S, Boots, Next and WHSmith who usually make nice ones. And whilst I've received a sprinkling of cards, usually by this time in December they are all over the house. This year it seems that people aren't sending as many, if if they are, they're leaving it late.

The problem, I feel is that Christmas has been completely over-commercialised. It starts in November... October... September even. So by the time it comes to December, everyone has been completely over-exposed to it all and feels no sense of excitement or occasion. It just seems to merge into everyday life.

The one thing that did brighten my day though whilst I was out shopping were the carol singers from the local blind home. Not only did they sound lovely, but they were singing proper Christmas carols, rather than the over played Christmas songs that are played everywhere else. It's little things like that which still sens a shiver down my spine and which remind us that Christmas isn't about how much money you can spend on presents.