Here is a fun one that Christina over at The (Mis)Adventures of a Single City Chick tagged me with. Being a hit or miss sort of person when it comes to memes (believe me, I love them, I just don’t always get them) here is a meme I am happily to play along with.
Instructions: Please share 12 of your favorite Christmas things (or Hanukah is applicable): they can be memories, traditions, songs, presents, beliefs, whatever it is about this season that you love.
1) The first and foremost thing I love about Christmas are the lights. It is so dark this time of year, I find it uplifting and joyous to see lights and decorations on houses. I start
nagging hinting about getting ours up the week before Thanksgiving, because I know it will take at least a week of hints to get them up that first holiday weekend. My favorites, the big old fashioned globes with icicles strung along with them.
2) Opening the boxes with all the Christmas decorations in them. It is like a surprise every year. I have too much Christmas stuff, so every year I promise myself I will thin it down because I don’t use most of it and it seems wasteful to me not to have it out and being loved. My fav decorations? The creche my Grandma Patty gave me when I was about ten years old, and the stockings my mother-in-law needlepointed for the kids.
3) Wrapping gifts with my Grandma Patty. She hated wrapping presents. She loved giving gifts, she loved Christmas, but she really, truly did not like wrapping Christmas presents. For years my mother would go over and help her, and Grandma would have all the presents stacked on one end of her enormous dining room table and this magical assortment of foil papers and gorgeous ribbons and pretty decorations for the packages scattered all over the rest of the table like Christmas confetti. No plain old bag o’bows for Grandma! As I got older, I got to help, which I considered a great honor that I was both old enough and deemed competent enough to wrap a gift elegantly.
4) Our old home movies of Christmases past. There are my parents so young and vital. All my grandparents, who are now gone. My dad with his crazy, mischievous grin. They just make me melt with Christmas joy to watch them. Here is my Dad and me–this has got to be my first Christmas. I still have that rocking chair and that doll.
5) Christmas baking. Oh, I love this tradition. Even as I write this, I have sugar cookie dough and gingerbread men dough chilling in the fridge. On the counter are the ingredients for fudge and peanut brittle. And I’ll make Grandma’s Pecan Tassies and some Christmas Crisps later this week.
6) A real evergreen tree. My husband and I are of the same mind on this. Christmas is not Christmas without a real, Evergreen tree. When I was pregnant with my first, we were living in California on an extended work assignment for his job. We were in extended stay housing, in a one bedroom apartment and we were determined to have a tree. Then I went into early labor and was stuck on bedrest. When things settled down, my husband went out to get a Christmas tree, but none were to be found. What we didn’t know, both having grown up in colder regions, is that in So California Christmas trees arrive at the lots and when they are gone, they are gone. If you don’t snag one up immediately, forget about finding a tree. My poor husband drove all over LA looking for a tree, but there were none to be had. We settled that year for a Christmas Poinsettia and decorated the poor thing with a pile of lights.
7) Midnight Mass. I think Midnight Mass is the most holy, beautiful celebration of my faith. I find it such a profound and beautiful event. But I can no longer stay awake for it. Last time I went, I fell asleep, and my husband nudged me awake for Communion. I think I should go to Christina’s church, especially if they celebrate MM earlier.
8 ) Satsuma oranges. I will eat those little golden gems until I turn orange. We always got them in our stocking at Christmas as a treat.
9) The Christmas letter from my sister-in-law and her family, which is considered the family masterpiece, because each of them lists their highlights and lowlights of the year–and believe me they share everything! The lowlights just make you laugh so hard, and help you realize that no matter how far apart you might be from family, you still share the same trials and tribulations. Oh, and by the way, if you need to throw up in the middle of the night, according to my SIL, don’t do it into a mesh garbage can.
10) Christmas carols, especially O, Holy Night, Silent Night, and Do You Hear What I Hear?. Those carols just fill my heart with wonder and joy.
11) The last minute hand knit Christmas gifts I think I need to give to everyone. My hands are killing me, but I am still knitting neckwarmers, fingerless gloves, and sock monkey hats like a crazy woman. That reminds me, I need to go do 4 rounds on another monkey . . .
12) My grandma Patty, who passed away about 10 years ago. We always spent Christmas Eve at her house. Always. Her house was lovingly decorated from one end to the other, including her infamous cookie tree that was always overflowing with wonderful Christmas treats. To this day, I can’t go through the month of December without remembering her at every turn. Grandma, I miss you.