For me, the Christmas season does not begin on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or even Giving Tuesday. It begins on the evening when Brown University holds its annual Latin Carol Service at Providence's First Baptist Church.
I was not a Latin major. I do not currently live in Providence. I am not a Baptist. But sitting in those ancient pews, while the lights of the city gleam through soaring windows and the pipe organ's majestic tones blend with words of a beautiful language long dead, I feel a wake-up call to the glory of the season.