Welcome to my sixth blog in the 12 blogs of Christmas series.
First, here is my Christmas card to share today.
I have been on both sides of the fence on this. When my kids were young and I was working full time I would find December rather overwhelming. Keep in mind that we had not a moment of free time on a normal day and when you added in the extras of Christmas preparation it was exhausting. Now that life isn't so overwhelming on a regular basis, the change in routine is far more manageable.
So, what do you like about Christmas? It's hard to say what you like best, but I'll give you my 'top 10 things I love about Christmas.'
10) The music. I love the christian songs the best, but I like a lot of the secular music as well.
Here are a few of the songs on my Christmas Favorites Playlist: Have yourself a merry little christmas, O Holy Night, Go Tell it on the Mountain, Baby it's cold outside, Santa Baby, Silent Night, Light of the World, What Child is This, Mary did you know, Winter Wonderland.... love it.
9) The Christmas Tree. I love the memories that come up when I look at the ornaments on my tree. The ornament for 'our first Christmas together', the Santa and Mrs. Clause ceramic ornaments my grandfather made, the ornaments that were given as gifts and even the non-sentimental balls and decorations that glitter and glisten with the lights - it's really beautiful and a pretty thing to look at in our home.
8) The lights. I'm not a big fan of shorter days in December, but I do love coming home in the early evening and having the lights from our wreath and from our christmas tree welcome me home. I also love all the lights that my neighbors put up and the light displays in town and in the city. Yes, I even love driving by the crazy house on the corner of Sutton Street and Hill street. These people are crazy with lights - the entire yard is covered with Christmas decorations and it's tacky and colorful, but fun. I don't know if I would love it if I lived next door, but driving by a few times during the season is fun and I can't help but slow down and glimpse at it as I go past the intersection.
7) The movies. My favorite Christmas movie is White Christmas. I love that movie with Bing Crosby. I also like 'It's a wonderful life', Christmas Vacation and the cheesy movies that come out every year about Christmas.
6) The food. I love Christmas food. Of course I do because I love my sweets. Gingerbread cookies - yum. Decorated Sugar Cookies - double yum. Chex Mix - yes, I consider that a Christmas food and if you've never had home made Chex Mix you haven't lived. I have to make small batches because a handful is never enough. Friendly's Jubilee Roll (I may be alone in my love for this.) Those white round cookies with the nuts in the middle - no idea what they are called but YUM. How about pie - pumpkin, apple, pecan... love them all. And Cranberry Sauce. I adore cranberry sauce and often buy bags of cranberries and make it even if there isn't a turkey being served. Whiskey Sours. I may be the only person who associates Whiskey Sours with Christmas but I love them and it seemed we would make them at the holiday's. I would get a virgin Whiskey sour when I was a kid. Hot mulled cider. No words are necessary for that. Yum, yum and double yum.
5) Football. This year we decorated our tree with the Jet's playing in the background. And we are not even Jet's fans. The Patriot's were on Monday night. But I love having the sound of football on in the background. It's comforting. I love it.
4) The T.V. Specials. Charlie Brown Christmas, Frosty the Snowman, The Grinch, Rudolph..... I especially love it now that we can own these on video/DVD/direct TV and watch them when it's convenient instead on the day/time the network broadcasts them.
3) Advent. We don't do the candle lighting, but we do read special devotionals during Advent and I love the idea of preparing my heart for the coming of Jesus.
2) Picking out gifts from the world vision catalog. For the last several years, our family has reserved about 1/3 of our Christmas budget for ordering things from the world vision catalog. The catalog has things people living in poverty that will improve their lives. The catalog is full of animals and stuff for medical clinics. We usually get the catalog out, have our budgeted amount in mind and carefully choose what to give each year. We do this Christmas Eve, after dinner and place our order on-line. It's fun to think of how our contribution of a sheep, goat, soccer balls and bicycle might impact people in Africa or other places.
1) Having my family come home. This is especially precious this year since both my children are not living at home. I'm tearing up now just thinking about how much I miss them and how much I will enjoy just having them around for a few weeks. It's also such a blessing that they are looking forward to coming home too. They are both young enough to consider our house 'home' and it will be a real joy to have the four of us together again. It's been a while...