- The feeling of excitement as my siblings and I counted down the days until Christmas.
- The feeling of hope as I carefully crafted my letter to Santa filled with my wishes for the year.
- The feeling of love as I thoughtfully chose gifts to make or buy for my family members, to help ensure they knew how much I loved them.
- The feeling of joyful community embedded in the Christmas traditions of caroling and the exchange of greeting cards.
I love Christmas and the deep and positive memories the season conjures up for me.
As a childless adult, my celebration of the holiday is vastly different. But each of the items on my list of my favorite things about Christmas can be directly traced back to those childhood feelings:
Beacons, letting Santa, or maybe the wise men, know that there are believers nearby, who are excited for the arrival of the 25th.
Making and sharing homemade Christmas treats
I give them to as many of the people who bring joy and comfort to my life. This year, there are nearly 30 people on the list, including the mailman, my pharmacist, the security guards and cleaning staff at my office, the cat sitter... The list goes on. I'll be making five different types of cookies: peanut butter blossoms, peppermint blossoms, double chocolate snowballs, cranberry orange shortbread, and eggnog whoopie pies. I'll also make Christmas muddy buddies to give to the gluten-free people in my life. Planning, baking and distributing cookie platters helps me express my gratitude for joyful community.
Admiring the display of packages artfully arranged under the Christmas tree
Every year, I try to pick a theme for my gift wrapping. I choose paper, and construct handmade tags that convey the theme. On Christmas morning, I try to intersperse the gifts I've brought in with the many others under the tree..Combined, these activities help me feel both hopeful that the gifts I've carefully selected and lovingly wrapped will delight the receiver, and excited about the packages I'll unwrap later in the day.
The results of this year's presidential election in the U.S. has left me feeling dejected. This holiday season, I need a little Christmas more than any other time I can remember. Because I need love, ope, In 2016, more than any other time in my adult memory, I need a little Christmas. Because I need a little hope, joy, and love as I gear up for the start of 2017.
This blog post was inspired by my participation in The 52 Lists Project in collaboration with BMG. This week, we're both making lists of our favorite parts of the holidays.
I'm curious. What are your favorite parts of whatever December holiday(s) you celebrate? What are your plans to make sure you get however much of the holiday spirit you need this year?
Regardless of your response, please know you have my wishes for a happy holiday.