In light of the season, here's my Christmas post.
First, I'd like to say this is the HOLIDAY season. The holidays I choose to celebrate this time of year are Christmas (both secularly and Christianly) and New Years. I'm VERY over this whole huge debate thing going on across the country. Yes, I believe Jesus is the reason for part of the season. But, it's a time of year about coming together and being happy and frisky in the cold air and laughing and celebrating a terrific year gone by and a new one just beginning. I really wish everyone would get their panties out of a wad and just enjoy themselves. As for me, I'll respond favorably to Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, or whatever other happy greeting you'd like to issue. No, I don't celebrate Hanukkah, but I'll smile if you wish me a happy one. If you wished me a happy Kwanzaa, I might look at you funny, but only because of my impossibly whiteness, not because of offense.
In high school I used to perform in Disney's Candlelight Processional at Epcot. I loved this tradition. Since I've graduated, I've gone back as many years as finances allow. Kevin talked about taking me this year, but I'm not sure that's going to work out. If you take a look at the picture in the link above, we're all convinced I'm in it. Just above center, you can't see my mouth. My mom pointed it out and Kevin (who didn't know me then, nor has ever seen this event) swears it's me. It's shot from the correct side of the stage to be me as well.
Around October, I start getting into the mood for Christmas music. Most think I'm crazy, but you see, I went to a performing arts high school. Every year, around October, we'd hit the Christmas music hard to get it learned so we could start perfecting and fine tuning it before performances started (usually as early as the weekend of Thanksgiving). The music of the season really makes it for me.
Then there's the Christmas tree. The tree in our house is always real. We string multi-colored lights on it, then bust out the ornaments. My mom and I keep our ornaments separate. Each year my mom and my grandmother give me an ornament. Sometimes they mean something in particular, but usually they're just special because of the tradition. When my mom got married at 17, neither she nor my father had anything to put on their tree the first few years and no money to buy anything. There are other ornaments from trips we've taken or major events throughout the years. Decorating the tree takes several hours of Christmas music, laughing, sharing memories, and a few glasses of eggnog. This year my mom wanted me to put all my ornaments on the tree. As a result, not all of hers would fit. We laughed, bitter-sweetly, as we commented that I would have enough ornaments for my own tree. As I was telling Snavy, there's on more tradition involving the tree. Each year, my mom and I get a Make-A-Wish ornament from Things Remembered. Next year, I want to start a smaller tree with just those ornaments. The last part of the tree is the angel. My mom buys me an angel every year. When I was younger, she bought me a tree topper angel. Every year there's a "fight" over whose angel gets to grace the top of our tree. We can never remember whose was up last year and whose should be up this year.
Last night we baked press cookies. Another tradition.
This year is so bittersweet. This may be my last Christmas at home, really at home. Sure I'll be home for Christmas in the years to come, but this is probably the last time I'll be living at home for the holidays. I really do think this is my favorite time of year.
Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and joyful celebrations of all kinds to one and all!