Sunday, December 18, 2011

10 Reasons I Love Christmas

1. The hideous yellow, plastic, glittery Christmas ornament that I got when I was in kindergarten. It hangs on the back of our tree, hidden from visual consumption, every single Christmas. It's too ugly to hang in the front of the tree, but it makes me happy to know it is there.

2. Our annual tradition of heading downtown on Christmas Eve every year to see Santa at Macy's. I love our album of annual Santa pictures. Facial expressions range from utter terror to distrust to complete ambivalence. Not a single smile on a single child. I love it.

3. Listening to my youngest son sing “Holly Jolly Christmas” along to the radio in the backseat of the car. As loud as he can. He closes him eyes a la “American Idol” and really makes it his own. I can't help but grin from ear to ear every time he sings that song.

4. Lucas' desire to believe in Santa Claus despite the odds. He is in third grade. There are beginning to be rumblings among his classmates about Santa being a figment of their parents' imaginations. Lucas hears the chatter. He knows many of his classmates no longer believe. But he wants to believe. He needs to believe. His desire to hang onto the magic of Christmas—at least for one more season—warms my heart and makes me smile. It probably won't last much longer, but I am enjoying it while I can.

5. Our stockings hung my the chimney with care. My mother made all of our stockings. She cross-stitched intricate Christmas designs on each stocking. Every person that joins our family gets a homemade stocking. She has yet to make my dog a stocking, but I am confident it is coming.

6. Watching all of the classic Christmas programs with my children. Seeing them stare wide-eyed as Santa visits the Island of Misfit Toys. Watching them cheer as a certain lovable lout has his heart grow three sizes in one day. Listening to them warn one another, “You'll shoot your eye out, kid.” Some things are simply timeless.

7. Christmas cards. It's true that fewer people send Christmas cards these days. I understand the argument about the environmental impact of Christmas cards. I understand that they can be cost-prohibitive for some people. But I can't seem to help myself. There is something about the giving and receiving of Christmas cards that simply makes me happy. And my children have inherited my love of cards. They excitedly check the mail each day to see how many cards we receive. We read the cards, ooh and aah over the pictures on the fronts, then we lovingly place them on display on our mantle. What can I say? I am, and have always been, a sucker for old-school pen and paper greetings.

8. Wrapping Christmas presents. I love wrapping presents. I love picking out the colorful paper. I love Scotch tape. I love ribbon. I love crisply creased corners. I love curly bows. I love the potential inherent in a beautifully wrapped gift. It is hope. It is joy. It is love. There is nothing more exciting than watching someone open a gift you lovingly chose and carefully wrapped. I would rather give a gift than receive a gift any day.

9. Christmas carols. I begin listening to Christmas carols the day after Thanksgiving. The radio in my car is permanently tuned to 102.9 Lite FM's 24/7 Christmas music from Thanksgiving to Christmas. As I've mentioned before, I am a purist when it comes to Christmas carols. I like the classics. Bing Crosby. Burl Ives. Nat King Cole. There is no need to “jazz up” a good Christmas carol. They warm your heart with their simplicity. I do, however, allow for a few modern versions in my carol repertoire. When I hear Josh Groban sing “Oh, Holy Night,” I get actual physical goosebumps. Every single time.

10. I love the gaudiness of Christmas. I love going to the mall and seeing 30-foot-tall garish white Christmas trees. I love the chintzy gigantic ornaments that hang from the ceilings. I love the wreaths that are a good ten feet across. I love twinkling lights. I love check-out girls with dangling bell earrings. I love people who ridiculously dress their pets in reindeer antlers. I love ugly Christmas sweaters. There is no such thing as too over-the-top when it comes to Christmas. And the tacky red-neck in me revels in the vulgarity of it all.

May you all have a fabulously tacky Christmas and a wonderfully joyous New Year!


Madgew said...

Back at you Shannon. Your words are just wonderful and I enjoy reading anything you write. Have a wonderful Christmas with all your tacky stuff around. I know your kids are very thankful for your caring and loving, even if one nameless child thinks of you as the "fat momma"-time to talk to them about what is funny and what is not :) Love you all.

Post a Comment