Sunday, December 25, 2011

#33 He Loves Christmas for Me

My Top Ten List of Christmas Favorites

It's hard for me to put all my Christmas emotions into words that don't sound like a mushed jumble of children screaming and teenage girlishness. So, I've composed a top ten list of things that make my Christmas complete.


#1. Classic Christmas Movies.

There is something to be said for movies of the past. They just happen to be great. Greater than anything made today, in spite of all our fancy technology and capabilities. The movie industry just cannot seem to top classics like: "A Charlie Brown Christmas", "White Christmas", "A Christmas Carol", and of course, "It's a Wonderful Life". Christmas isn't complete without them. If you haven't seen any of those titles go buy them today and watch them before the Yuletide season is gone.

#2. Teacher Gifts.

Teachers can be big complainers. Last year, I got probably every complaining teacher's dream. For Christmas, the class all chipped in together to get me a gift card. I got one or two little presents, but that was it. And while I was stunned by and greatly appreciated the gift, at the end of the day I missed the wild assortment of typical teacher gifts. So, this year when I received a plethora of gifts of all shapes and sizes from my class, I was overcome with an abundance of joy and happiness that still hasn't gone away.

#3. Nostalgic Decorations

This is a sight that may not be seen for many more Christmases at my mother's house.

Stockings decorated in puffy paint, hand print ornaments, candy canes made into reindeer....bottle it all up. Store it away in your memory bank. Because this Christmas I was informed that when either one of my brothers or I have a baby, all the decorations with our names on them go out the window to be replaced by the grand kids.

I'm just not ready for that.

#4. Giving Gifts

I love to give. There is nothing quite as exciting on Christmas as watching the face of someone you love as they open a gift you know they are going to love. I'll tell you one thing I have grown to hate though. The dreaded Christmas list. I can't stand buying off a dull list. I try my best to find gifts that aren't of the ordinary. Gifts that really are the person I'm giving to, but aren't something they expected.

#5. Christmas Eve.

This is my mom's Christmas tree.

This is what it looks like on Christmas Eve night.

Christmas Eve night is my family's Christmas. That's right. We open every single present on Christmas Eve. It's pretty awesome. I've never known that experience most children have of waking up as early as possible Christmas morning to open presents.

Nope. I've slept in late and enjoyed knowing what my gifts were while the comfort of my bed surrounded me on Christmas morning.

Yes, I truly love my family's traditions.

#6. Revisiting Old Talents

Another tradition of Christmas Eve that I love is shared with my younger brother, Joel. Usually last minute, we throw together a fun variety show to perform for my family on Christmas Eve (before we open our presents). It's just feel good fun that makes Christmas more than just eating and opening gifts. This year, we sang a Frank and Nancy Sinatra song as part of our program. This entailed me picking up my guitar, which I haven't played in ten years, and making it work as our accompaniment.

My finger tips were yelling at me before the night was over.

#7. Christmas Cookies.

What makes a Christmas cookie a Christmas cookie? That it's made at Christmas? I'm not sure, but there is something delightful about Christmas cookies. Even the ones that are dry and taste like cardboard. They decorate a table just like ornaments decorate a Christmas tree. They are a conversation starter and a glimpse into different people's traditions. My husband had me participate in a cookie exchange at his work this year. The above picture was the turnout from the other participants. Not a single duplicate cookie.

#8. Homemade Gifts.

I'm not sure if there is anything that spells love better than a gift that took time, thought, and talent. You can't get a homemade gift off a list, you can't get free shipping on a homemade gift, and you certainly can't just go to the nearest mall for it. The greatest part is that if the receiver is a kindred spirit, you have just warmed their heart with your efforts. Sadly, there are those who will not recognize a homemade gift for it's worth, but me, I treasure them.

#9. My Kissing Ball.

My husband hates Christmas decorating. Hates it. With a passion. Now, he isn't such a Grinch that he won't help me at all. He will help me carry the boxes down from the attic, and he will put the lights on the tree, but that's it.

However, this kissing ball was one decoration that he bought years ago with a passionate "I have to have this" look about him.

And so, I love it too.

#10. The Savior of the World is Here.

Are any more words necessary?

I will just say, Christmas songs are a great way to remind us of this. My favorite is "O Holy Night", specifically this part:

"Fall on your knees,
Oh hear the angel voices,
Oh night, divine,
Oh night, when Christ was born"

Merry Christmas one and all!

1 comment:

  1. Love it, Love it, Love it! I think the one about teachers' gifts is SO true! AND I shared it with my fellow teachers today! AND--you got it--Happy Birthday Jesus! Ba Ho Bor A (please check my spelling!)