I love Christmas. It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Except that it’s cold, there sometimes snow-blech, my family LONGS for this miserable snow stuff, and I have the ever-present gifts vs. time vs. money vs. moral-opposition-to-materialism (I’m actually pretty good one this, but it would be fun to think of money a bit less and fun a bit more).
1. Santa. I LOVE seeing Santa!! Sometimes up to 4 times a year. I just think this is so fun and it brings back happy memories from my own childhood when Santa, the real one!, used to show up at my grandparents’ annual pre-Christmas party.
2. The tree. I would say decorating in general, but outside, as I said, it’s cold. And I have a lot of little kids and seemingly no surface areas. So I don’t do much decorating other than the tree. But the tree is a bit of joy to me every time I look at it.
3. The lights. In town, store windows, even our doctor’s office has a 12 foot tree. Enjoying other people’s decorations is a fun treat, especially if you’re lucky enough to have someone nearby with a choreographed light show and radio display.
4. The stories. We read special books and enjoy the Christmas cheer shared in our favorite magazines. A Christmas Carol and The Night Before Christmas along with the story of Jesus’ birth.
5. The music. Around here we love our Christmas music. We usually go through a spell of a month or mid-summer and are ready to hear it full-time again by the end of November.
6. The movies. We also love us Christmas movies. The sappiest love stories, the heart-warming-est childhood tales, and you can bank on a happy ending. We have 10 or so versions of A Christmas Carol and a whole host of annual favorites.
The movie industry also lets out some great blockbusters this time of year, think Lord of the Rings trilogy. This year we’ve seen Breaking Dawn (so exciting for a Twilight Head), and The Rise of the Guardians (I completely enjoyed this flick, but sadly didn’t see it in 3D. This is a stellar 3D opportunity). Wreck-It Ralph had to be put on the “buy the disc” list, but we’re looking forward to it. And The Hobbit is scheduled for date night—woohoo. Movies of Christmas and movies at Christmas neither can be beat.
7. The presents. I love making gift list ideas, shopping for said gifts, perusing Pinterest and the internet for gift-spiration. I enjoy shopping with my husband; this about the only time of year that we actually enjoy shopping together and one or the other of us gets cranky. I also love helping my kids shop for that special gift. We draw names for a “secret santa” that isn’t so secret in our immediate family. This keeps costs down and helps my kids focus on gift selection. I also like the wrapping when I don’t forget how fun it is and get all mom-scroogey.
8. The goodwill toward men. There are always get-togethers and parties. And people are often more inclined to spend time visiting. I have more conversations at the post office or running into people around town than I think I do any other time of year.
I like feeling happy and hopeful. I like having a constant reminder to be especially kind and loving. I love serving and giving to charities this time of year. And I like feeling goodwill from others.
9. The food. How could I not mention the food? It’s fabulous! Feasting, frosting, Fudge. Cookie exchanges. Gingerbread houses. My dad brought over a case of oranges the other day. It’s bonding, sharing, fun and yum. What could be better?
10. the anticipation. One of the best things about Christmas is the excitement.
Okay, so maybe list seems shallow. But under everything listed above is love. We share love at Christmas through our baking, and gift giving, and making things special for a child. Love is what our Savior stands for: charity, selflessness, gratitude. So Rejoice. The Lord is King. And enjoy those around you at this time of celebration.
And in the words of tiny Tim: “God Bless us every one!”