1. I love Christmas songs. Sebastian asks me to sing songs to him all the time now. His favourites at the moment are Row Row Row Your Boat and Santa Claus Is Coming to Town. I have also been singing Away In A Manger and Jingle Bells to him. I love Christmas music. One of my favourite parts of working at Disney World was singing in the Candlelight Processional. It was such a neat experience being in a choir that sang the most beautiful versions of all the typical Christmas Carols. It was powerful and brought me to tears almost every night. If you heard some of the songs, you'd understand why. But not just those songs, I love almost all Christmas songs. Josh Groban has one called Thankful from his Christmas CD that is just fantastic. The words are incredible and really make you stop and think about how lucky we are.
2. I love the lights. It's so fun driving around and seeing all the decorated houses. It's even more fun, because my son is loving the lights too!! He gets so excited when we turn the lights on at our house. And loves seeing all the different colours.
3. I love decorating the Christmas tree. Even if it did fall over while we were out the other night. My brother was with Sebastian when that happened, and cutest of cute, Sebastian kept saying "It's okay Chris, it's okay", even though my brother was trying to hold up the tree and internally freaking out at the time. I love hanging up the decorations and it was so cute watching Sebastian hang them too, almost all on the same branch of course!!
4. I love buying presents for people. I love finding the perfect gift for someone, where it's something I know they will just love. Especially if it is something that I thought up without prompting from the person. Those are the best gifts ever!! I thought I had the perfect gift lined up for Jeremy, but sort of ran it past him, and it turns out it might not quite be the perfect gift after all, thank goodness I checked!! But now, it's back to the drawing board, trying to come up with something that he'll really love and use and will make his life better. I have a few gifts done for other people that fit that criteria but so far nothing for the husband (except a book he already knows he's getting, and a toque, can you believe he found my secret hiding place and saw the toque??).
5. I love doing something charitable at this time of year. This year, we're focusing on Ronald McDonald House. I already wrote about most of that. My workplace is adopting a family, and it's all coming together so nicely!! But, a group of friends and family are all pitching in and helping out with stockings for families at Ronald McDonald House. It's been so fun hearing everyone come up with the perfect additions for the families. And, I love the diversity of people participating. My aunt & uncle, my parents, and a variety of friends (ironically, all of whom have kids). And, we got neat gift cards, for practical and fun stuff, like gas, groceries, cafeteria food at the hospital, a toy store that also sells things like clothes and diapers, and coffee, and then special little books for all the families. Everyone has been so awesome with ideas and such. I love it!! I am so excited to assemble everything and drop it off for them.
6. I love the seasonal drinks at Starbucks. I know, very commercial of me, but hey, it's the white peppermint mocha, and the new salted caramel signature hot chocolate (even if they are out of it most of the time I try and get it), and an eggnog chai, and the caramel apple cider. All of these drinks just scream Christmas. And I love the red cups. It just feels festive to drink from the red cups at this time of year!!
7. I love Christmas baking. It's fun baking things that just don't get made at other times of year. Like Cherry Flips. One of those special cookies that my grandma always used to make, and now, I always make them. And almond florentines. And white chocolate cranberry shortbread. Can you say, yum?? And let's not forget gingerbread houses. I had lots of fun this year when Cindy and her boys came over to decorate houses with us. It was fantastic, we baked the gingerbread and made the icing, and she brought the candies, and the kids went to town!! Up next is a cheesecake of some variety, likely chocolate peppermint candy cane.
8. Christmas Movies. Like Christmas Vacation, Muppet Christmas Carol, Family Man, and soon I'll be getting back into the kids ones, like Rudolph and Frosty the Snowman. I always like watching a new Christmas movie. They just make you feel good!!
9. Advent Calendars. It's fun this year. Sebastian is always excited to open the new door every day and hang the new decoration, and of course, eat the chocolate!!
10. Christmas Cards. I love getting cards, I love sending cards. I love hearing from people that I only hear from a couple times of year. It's fun. It's nice to catch up and update them on what's been going on!!
There's just so much fun stuff this time of year. Visiting with friends and family, and just loving life and reminding ourselves that life really is special and we need to celebrate that!! So, have fun this year. I read an article yesterday about how even though Christmas is based on Christian events, in countries like Canada and the USA, people who are not Christians still celebrate Christmas (the percents were something like 78% of people in the USA were Christian, but 96% of people in the USA celebrate Christmas). It's part of our culture, and it's a fun time of year, so enjoy everything it has to offer. And don't forget to do something for someone else, just because you can.