For me, Christmas isn’t just a day. It’s a month-long holiday, during which I feel like an awe-struck child. I savor every sign that the season is here – special treats lining the shelves of my local Italian deli, colorful lights that transform nighttime into a sparkling wonderland, carolers, the smell of pine and freshly cut trees strapped to the roofs of cars. Each day after Thanksgiving, my daughter and I “keep Christmas,” as Dickens says, in our own way, from little things like a glass of eggnog to larger things like our annual pilgrimage to Rockefeller Center and the surrounding city. The very first time I hear “White Christmas” (not just any version, mind you, it has to be Bing Crosby’s) I smile, knowing the season has truly arrived. It’s never been about the presents, you see. It’s always been about the undeniable mood that Christmas brings, one of hope, charity, sentimentality and a return to innocence. A grown woman with a child of my own, I’ve spent lots of Christmases this way, so the fact that I wasn’t “feeling it” this year wasn’t just disappointing… It was downright disturbing.