I was raised in a family where Christmas was a big deal. The weekend after Thanksgiving was reserved for Christmas Preparation: getting a tree, decorating the entire house inside and out so that it resembled a Winter Wonderland. When both my brother and I lived at home, and were around most nights, we’d do Christmas devotions, a little story and prayer about the season. My mom bought us Advent Calendars with little chocolates behind the doors, and every night, we’d guess the shape that lived behind each door. Our family shared so many special nights laughing together and hanging out together—the Christmas season’s memories are some of the fondest memories of my childhood.
The older I get, the more excited I get each Christmas season. I love just about everything about the holidays: the bright lights, the colors, the joy and pleasant feelings that fill the air. It makes me happy to think about what to get my family, the fun times we’ll share, the treats and fun and the chilly nights I’ll spend with some of my favorite people. I live near (basically, in) my hometown, so friends from all over come home. Truth be told, I’ve had Christmas music on in my car for the past 2 weeks.
There are many little holiday traditions I’ve started, in addition to those that my family still celebrates. Every year, after I’ve finished my Christmas shopping, I like to go to Nordstrom, get a Mocha Blanca and listen to the piano player and watch people shop. I try and see the Nutcracker if possible. I love to get coffee and drive around looking at the Christmas lights nearby. I play Secret Santa with people at work, and spend mornings bundled up making Christmas cards.
This year, I’m looking forward to some new Christmas traditions. I FINALLY live in a place where it’s my own and I can put up a tree. I am going to attempt stockings for me and Andrew. And, perhaps most excitingly, Andrew and I will be spending a day in San Francisco. We have some plans in the city on a Friday, and are staying overnight to enjoy the holiday decorations in Union Square and beyond. I literally can’t wait. I have a few other hopes and dreams up my sleeve, including some cookie recipes and other treats.
As cliche as it may be, to me, the holidays just feel different. Sure, there is Black Friday insanity, grumpy people, insane parking, but for the most part, I feel like the world is a lot nicer. And I try to make the most of it.
So, your turn…I’m curious: what are YOUR holiday traditions? Anything I should add to mine?