I love Christmas, like LOVE it! I loved it as a child and have great memories of sleepless nights, filled stockings and Pillsbury cinnamon rolls. As I got older I still loved the tradition of it all, but I just didn’t get that excited about it anymore. I didn’t really care about presents and especially once I moved out of the house and I didn’t always get home for the holiday it just didn’t hold the same magic, there was just something missing. I’ve learned to love it again and have rediscovered the magic of Christmas. Just in time too I think, because I can’t wait to share that joy with our child. I think the turning point was when Thomas and I started building our own traditions and I look forward to them every year. These are a few of my favorite things:
- Decorating our tree. We are definitely not “theme” people. Our tree reflects our eclectic style; we buy ornaments that are quirky or cute. My favorite addition this year is the one we call “disapproving monkey”. We also started a tradition of buying an ornament at each new place we visit, so trimming the tree is a reminder of all the wonderful places we’ve visited together, it’s great.
- Just the two of us. I love our families, but I also love the Christmas’s that are just ours. We go to mass on Christmas Eve and open one present each. We wake up Christmas morning and open our stockings, Oz has one too! Then after coffee and cinnamon rolls we open our under the tree presents, Oz does too! After presents and calls/Skypes to family we put together Christmas dinner, slow cooker pot roast that is done by the time we get home from the movies. It’s truly perfect.
- Cheesy Christmas Movies. I loooooove the entire lineup of made for TV Christmas movies on Lifetime and ABC Family, as much as I love the classics like Scrooged and Muppet Christmas Carol. Even better than 25 days of tacky wonderfulness on TV is that while Thomas groans about it and my never-ending playlist of Christmas tunes, I know he secretly loves it. And even if he doesn’t he tolerates it knowing that I love it and isn’t that the definition of true love?
- Baking. I don’t do a whole lot of this really ever except at Christmastime. I bake a pumpkin bread from my Grandma’s recipe and it makes me happy that there are people who really look forward to getting their loaves each year. Speaking of Grandma, I also like getting baked goods, she sends us a tin of cookies every year that Thomas swears taste like Jesus himself baked them!
- Giving. This is my most favorite part of Christmas. I won’t say I don’t love getting presents, I do. But I love giving presents even more. I love picking out and purchasing things for other people. I love seeing the look on my husband’s face when I really surprise him, and the pure joy on Oz’s face when he realizes he has new toys to destroy. My love of giving goes beyond family though. I’ve sadly noticed an unfortunate trend where people are so concerned about themselves and their family at the holidays that they are stingy mcgrinches with everyone else, leaving bad tips in restaurants, grabbing and pushing in stores. When did people stop being nice? I know times are hard for everyone, but by spending a little extra outside your own family the feeling you get after doing something for others with no expectations is worth it. So donate to a food bank or Toys for Tots, and if you truly can’t afford to then just hold the door open for someone or give up your seat on the train. You’ll make someone’s day and keep that wonderful feeling of holiday cheer spreading!