It was a balmy 10ºC on Friday, so we did what all normal people in Canada do on the 11th November - we put up our Christmas lights.
Last year, we left it too late - standing up a ladder on a frozen mid-December morning (read about -20º with windchill) - and trying to mess around with fiddly clips on the guttering, while wearing big gloves is no longer our idea of a fun morning out.
Much swearing ensued, much dropping of said fiddly clips into the snow on the drive, and the strings of lights were somewhat thrown at the mountain ash, rather than artistically placed for maximum effect. It got to the point that we didn't really give a damn about maximum effect - we were lucky to get any lights up at all. Throw, dump, and run back inside was our methodology.
So this year, we have got into the game extraordinarily early - but ha, so did half the neighbourhood it seems. And instead of feeling self-conscious about being premature, now I feel part of this chilly country's festive preparations.
And I've bought new stuff too, so I am excited to see it all come together. But we won't be switching them on yet. I'm still a bit bah-humbug about looking at Christmas lights for ten weeks - it dulls the anticipation!
So we've learned the hard way - and have been admittedly pretty slow to pick up the hints. This will be our fifth Christmas in Canada.
All we need to do now is leave the lights there 'till April and we will have assimilated beautifully.