Welcome, Christmas, come this way.
I love Christmas. Christmas trees, Christmas cookies, Christmas colors, Christmas music. Especially music. One of my all-time favorite Christmas songs is “Welcome Christmas” from How the Grinch Stole Christmas- when all the who’s sing together at the end even though they don’t have any presents…I feel my heart growing larger with the Grinch’s and the tears welling up in my eyes.
This Christmas, 2011, is our first newlywed Christmas, our first Christmas officially living together. (As in, when we go home for Christmas, we’re actually allowed to sleep in the same room. Yay!) We are so lucky that we get to spend Christmas with both my family and my husband’s family- I can’t imagine “splitting” the holidays or switching every year. The magic and romance of Christmas Eve and the utter gleeful chaos of 7am Christmas morning just can’t be beat, and we get to experience every moment together.
Welcome Christmas, Christmas Day!
As much as I love Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, the most enjoyable part of Christmas is the season leading up to the big day. The two or three weeks before December 25th are probably my favorite two weeks of the year. Made even more so by the fact that for the first time in four years, I’m not battling end-of-semester projects and finals while trying to get into the holiday spirit! Shopping, baking, wrapping, decorating, more shopping, more wrapping, etc. Everything is so beautifully lit up, and everyone is just a little bit nicer to each other. The holiday spirit is infectious: I see a definite surge toward letting someone go ahead of you in traffic, or holding the door for a burdened-down shopper. Just don’t take the last Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks, please, and I can be super nice to everyone. Because, after all, it’s Christmas.
A huge part of the Christmas magic and pre-Christmas season is the weather. The promise and anticipation of snow, seeing your breath in ghostly puffs as you hurriedly bustle from the department store to your car and crank up the heat. Gorgeous soft coats, yummy scarves wrapped around your nose, and slipping your chilled toes into cozy slippers when you get home after a long day of shopping are major elements of the holiday festivities for me. That’s why, this season, the anti-seasonal weather in Charleston is severely cramping my Christmas style. It just looks weird to see Santa in his big red furry suit- he must be sweating his beard off. It’s literally been hovering around 70 degrees since before Thanksgiving, and it is just so hard to think about sugar cookies, wreaths, reindeer dish towels, and any sort of Christmas shopping while wearing flip-flops and tank tops.
Christmas Day is in our grasp, so long as we have hands to clasp.
But it is our first newlywed Christmas, and our very first “Charlie Brown” Christmas tree together that’s really ours. With our own ornaments- my very favorite special ornaments that my mom has presented me with every year, and some from my husband’s childhood that were gifted to us before we moved. Seeing our very own tree, with our own Nativity scene on the dining table, and our own little polar tables on the mantle, plus my fabulous holly, snowflake and Santa dish towels and pot-holders make me gleeful with the feelings of the season.
Christmas also makes me thankful for everything I have- my family, our health, our wonderful pets, and of course the fact that we are able to fly home to spend Christmas with our entire immediate family and living grandparents. We’re able to shower each other with trinkets and love. We can indulge in a home-cooked turkey, cranberry sauce, Egg Nog and the very best of holiday baked goods while spending time together. The Christmas season also makes me think of those who aren’t as fortunate- not just in this economy, but those who are separated from their loved ones or family members or who have lost someone they used to spend Christmas with. Christmas is really about love, companionship, friendship and togetherness- with the occasional Pumpkin Spice Latte and Christmas carol.
Even if I was wearing flip-flops while I hung my deliciously-scented wreath, I was fortunate enough to hang that wreath on our very own front door, the first of many in our journey together.
Christmastime will always be, just as long as we have glee.
first photo courtesy of basementrejects.com
second photo courtesy of sodahead.com
third photo courtesy of fun.familyeducation.com
fourth photo courtesy of misfittoys.com