This is one of my favorite times of year. I’ve spent most of my growing up years in the North with snowy, white Christmases and lots of sledding and hot cocoa. I’ve also had several Southern winters (shout out to my favorite Arkansans!) where snow is rare and when it comes, the whole world shuts down.
This season is my favorite for a bunch of reasons, but sometimes it’s fun to make a list (I love lists!) of my favorite things. Even writing them here brings a smile to my face…
- A Children’s play- There’s nothing quite like a kids’ Christmas play. It just never goes down twice the same way.
- Live Nativity- It’s not every day you see your neighbors dressed up as roman soldiers or wise men in crowns.
- Watching the Christmas story in movie form- with someone over 90 or under 10. I’ve done both in one year and it’s a riot!
- Salvation army bell ringing- these have become some of the best times for me over the last few years. I love talking with random strangers and spreading the joy of Christmas with others.
- Shopping with your brother- I give gift ideas, they foot the bill. We work well together.
- Family gatherings- Most of my relatives are huggers. Togetherness is awesome. We laugh, cry, and hug a lot.
- Decorating the home and church- I’m not the best at decorating…but I do enjoy it. My younger sister has the eye for it and I just follow what she does. Works out pretty good that way.
- Making Christmas cookies- gathering with my sister-in-loves and their kiddos for cookie making day is always a blast. We have fun making a mess together and then eating our creations.
- Snow. Born in Michigan, I’m just a snow-lovin’ gal. It’s beautiful…especially when you’re inside.
- Hot cocoa and Peppermint mocha. Need I say more?
- Sledding. Even though I’m an adult now, I’ve made it my goal to go sledding at least once a year. It keeps me a child inside and helps me not take myself too seriously.
- Ice skating. There’s something about skating that can be so relaxing.
- Christmas music. I try to hold out for November 1st to turn it on…but it rarely happens. Christmas music is the best!
- Lights…indoor and out. One of my favorite memories as a kid is when my dad or uncle would load me, my brothers and cousins up in the station wagon and we would go “light looking”. This year, we put up our own outdoor lights and it brought back a thousand mental snapshots of the wonder in my eyes as a child. Lights are captivating.
- Jesus. Light of the World. Emmanuel. BEST GIFT EVER.
- Christmas cards. Stacks of them…and all the updated family photos too. What fun to see how everyone is changing and growing up!
- Warm gloves and hats. Even if they’re not matching, they still keep ya warm.
- Wrapping presents. There’s something satisfying about wrapping gifts neatly and stacking them for Christmas morning.
- Evergreen wreaths. My mom and sister have a knack of making these beautifully. I hang them up.
- Orange rolls on Christmas morning. This is a tradition I remember my Grammie doing and we’ve carried it on in our home every Christmas day.
Christmas is a time to remember JESUS, the ultimate Gift. A God who loved us so much that He humbled Himself and moved into our neighborhood. He chose to be with us. He wrapped Himself in human skin and spoke our language. Creator of the universe became a Baby so we would understand LOVE and REDEMPTION.
Tonight I sit and wonder at His faithfulness and kindness. He gives good gifts.
(photo credits: Charity F. Walker, Life Through The Lens Photography)