Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I love people that LOVE this time of year. I like watching people run on ‘Holiday Spirit’ like I run on the heat and light of summer. I marvel at people who love shopping and the added revelry.

The combination of still having to do the already million tasks of the typical day rolled together with trying to sneak in all the joyful, little holiday ones is what make it seem oppressive. If you are really good at this, would you let me know how?

Sometimes, I can only see it as added responsibilities. I am not, though, the Grinch that everyone makes me out to be.

I do enjoy:

Christmas music starting about NOW. Not a month ago so that I want to choke on it every time I hear Frosty reprise. Ethan does, indeed, play it year round. Maybe this is his fault 😉

I really enjoy baking Christmas cookies. If the laundry, basic meal cooking, and all the daily activities that need to happen here could all be suspended while I use Royal Icing on everything in site – that would really be fantastic.

I enjoy sparse, meaningful Christmas decorations. Today, I will take out the things that we all love – a nativity scene for the mantle (bought here), a pair of plush, Hallmark snowmen that sing a ridiculous song that I claim to hate, but secretly like. I will put out several Santas, some candles and would like a fresh wreath for above my fireplace. Each year, we cull through more decorations to see what we really want to keep. The box is getting small.

I love when Dennis and I have managed to select a few excellent gifts for the boys. Some years we succeed and I love to see them thankful and engaged in their new treasures. Some years we have failed miserably, ending up in a sea of interminable, plastic nothingness. I’m rooting for us again this year. This is getting better, simply because the boys themselves are out of the ‘toy’ stage.

I enjoy a few meaningful outings. Maybe an evening of lights here and here. Mix both of those with some good hot chocolate toted along and I’ll be thrilled. I could or could not attend a religious service if it comes up for us. I love midnight service in a Catholic Church, but haven’t been able to do that in years. I love a live nativity with a reading from the Gospel of Luke – and hot chocolate. I like Christmas Eve to be spent with friends and family and food – whatever works out – because that’s how we do things. We’ve done lots of different things on the evening and as long as those components are present – and hot chocolate – I’m happy. If I can fit in a quick jaunt to NYC – bliss 🙂

I do like to fill days and nights with as many Christmas movies as we can fit in. This is my favorite. There are always a few we keep meaning to watch, but haven’t gotten to. Maybe this year.

I love reading Christmas stories. This is my favorite.

I love the story of the birth of Jesus. I love the message of miracles. I embrace the thankfulness for meager provisions that Mary and Joseph experienced that starry night. I love the simple gifts of The Magi.

Simple gifts. I can live with that.