Christmas starts in 3 days. Oh, I know, there are some of you out there foolish enough to think that we still have Thanksgiving. We do have Thanksgiving, but just as the Bloomin' Onion is the tasty appetizer for a terrific steak dinner, Thanksgiving is the tasty appetizer for Christmas.
So as I gear up for my favorite time of the year (if only someone could do something about the dreadful cold and snow!), I share my top ten favorite things about the Holidays:
1. The busy-ness. I like to be, shall we say, anxiously engaged in a good cause. I love making gifts, even if I typically take on too much. It all gets done in time. Despite my best efforts, there always ends up being "just one more thing" and somehow it gets me all jazzed.
2. 24 Hours of a Christmas Story. Yes, I watch it over, and over. Or at least it's on in the background while I clean up the schrapnel from Christmas morning and slip into my Christmas Day Goodie induced coma.
3. Being able to freely use the phrase "Cotton Headed Ninny Muggins" and have people knod knowingly instead of looking at me quizically.
4. Christmas Trees. We have graduated from 1 tree to 2, and I'm seriously thinking that we might just need 3. Yes, I'm almost possitive that we need 3. Christmas trees must always have multi-colored lights, and lots of 'em. Not a big fan of the clear/white lights. If your tree doesn't have AT LEAST 6 strings of lights on it, you're not trying hard enough. Get it together. You shame yourself.
5. A Charlie Brown Christmas. It almost makes me cry every year. I love his Christmas tree.
6. Getting out the Christmas stuff. My kids still think this is tremendous fun, and it is, because they have been around now for enough Christmases that the ornaments and other decorations have meaning to them too. We have to discuss almost every ornament before it goes on the tree. Lots of memories there. We are getting so many ornaments now, that a 3rd tree perhaps could be a necessity. See how I rationalize?
7. Christmas Cards. I love the newsletters. Keep sending them! I know some people don't like them, but I do. I read them all, and after Christmas they all go into an album. Except the 2009 cards, which are still in the cardholder on the entryway table where they have sat since last Christmas. Don't worry - they'll get into the album eventually!
8. Video Games. There aren't a lot of video games that I play, but I will play at Christmas because once the gifts are open, there isn't a lot to do. The void left in my life from 2 months of Christmas Panic needs to be filled, and mindless video games seems a good way to fill it.
9. Our collection of Christmas books. It all began with one of our most treasured Christmas items: A lovely hardbound copy of "Polar Express," a gift from Greg and Tara many years ago. It has a special place under the Christmas tree, front and center, with nothing stacked on top of it. Over the years, mostly thanks to Scholastic Book orders coming home from school, we have added and added to our Christmas book collection which goes under the tree with, but NEVER on top of, Polar Express. We get at least 1 new book each year but I have become more discriminating in recent years and get nice ones from Seagull Book. Who knew that such a simple thing could turn into one of our family's most important traditions? This, more than anything else, has shown me that traditions are mostly not planned things; they just happen accidentally, and that's what makes them so precious.
10. Christmas morning. As we all stagger in on Christmas morning, eyes not fully open and no one quite able to walk in a straight line, it's fun to see how everyone reacts. Taylor is now old enough that she curls up on one end of the couch and pretends she's going back to sleep. Jack sits as patiently as he can, acting like he doesn't care much one way or the other, but in the end unable to contain his own excitement. Addie is still young enough that she just bounces non-stop until we have the camera ready and can begin the official Present Opening. Everyone is in their brand new cookie pants that were a gift on Christmas Eve, there is a fire in the fireplace, and Christmas music is playing.
I can't wait.
3 hours ago