I love Christmas. To all the self-proclaimed Grinches, I am the least bit apologetic about it. I put up my tree early (this year it was up 2 weeks before Thanksgiving), my shopping was done, and gifts were wrapped and under the tree before my first bite of turkey.
I know there are a lot of people out there who seem to think that because I am in the Christmas spirit early, that I neglect Thanksgiving entirely. The truth is, I enjoy Thanksgiving just as much, but I get the added joy of enjoying Christmas even longer. And, since I am done with all the work of the holiday, there is no hustle and bustle but, rather, a chance to revel in the joys of the season.
Both of my parents often had a large amount of vacation time to use at the end of the year, so there was no shortage of quality time and bonding over the holidays. I remember listening to Christmas classics while mom tried not to scream at our artificial tree that she despised so much. There were Christmas specials like ‘Charlie Brown Christmas’ and ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’, watched from the living room floor under the glow of Christmas lights. There was a buffet of cookies and cinnamon candy (the smell from making it burned my nostrils) from mom’s kitchen. As I grew older, I got to decorate the basement in flashing lights and garland and had my own little tree for my room. Satisfaction has always been found in perfectly wrapping each gift with love for its recipient. Cousins came to town and rules went to the wayside in the name of Christmas cheer.
I suppose I'm rather nostalgic about it all. I own most of the Christmas classics on DVD and a few most people don't recall, but they were significant to me. I'm obsessed with Home Alone, but that also seems to be rooted in childhood family tradition: my cousins and I saw the movie in the theater, attempted to recreate some of the comically dangerous pranks (all with their fair share of being yelled at), and have passed on the love of all things McCallister to our own children, nieces, and nephews.
There’s nothing about Christmas that doesn’t bring me joy. Sharing my traditions with people I love only makes them more special. I was blessed with what, when looking back on it, is a rather idyllic set of memories. For me, it truly is the most wonderful time of the year.