I normally LOVE Christmas. This year, I am struggling a little because I feel like every day that Christmas is closer is one day closer to me leaving my little girl and going back to a job I hate. However, I am trying really hard to not think about that. (I'm not sure it's working, but I will keep trying.) So, in an attempt to remind myself of all the good things about Christmastime, I am making a list. Here goes:
Things I love about Christmas
1. The way my house feels when it's all decorated for Christmas. I love sitting in the living room with nothing but the tree lights on. It just feels homey, cozy and like there is nothing wrong in my world.
2. Giving gifts. I love to Christmas shop and wrap presents. I look forward to that part every year. Then, I get to give them and that is awesome!
3. Watching Parker look at the lights and the tree. She LOVES them. It's amazing!
4. Getting to spend time with a slightly less stressed Alicia.
5. Playing ridiculous games with my ridiculous family into the wee hours of the morning.
6. Taking part in the present wrapping assembly line at my mom's house. My mother is usually behind on purchasing and wrapping presents, so on Christmas Eve she is usually in her room, boxing the presents, writing the recepient's name on them and sending them downstairs to be wrapped and placed under the tree. It's crazy, but I like it. (Probably because I like wrapping presents!) :)
7. Christmas socks. They are happy AND I don't have to worry about whether they match my clothes or not. It doesn't matter.
8. Christmas cookies. I don't normally like cooking or baking, but I love making Christmas Cookies. I think this may have come from our year in NH when we had nothing to do other than make like 15 different kinds of cookies and cart them across the country!
9. "Old" Christmas music. By that, I really mean the music my parents listened to when I was growing up - the Bing Crosby album, the Carpenters album....
10. The Christmas station - non-stop Christmas music!!!!! Gotta love that!
11. "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" - Every Christmas at my Grandma Sharp's house, my aunt will play the piano and my father leads us in a rendition of the aforementioned song. My Grandma loves it! Alicia thinks this is creepy and wrong. :)
12. My father's knees creaking on the stairs. When we were all little, my brothers and sisters and I would get up super early and wait for my parents to come downstairs on Christmas morning. We always knew they were coming when you could hear my dad's knees creaking!
13. Snow - This is more of a winter thing, and we don't get enough here in Indiana, but it always makes me happy.
14. How my father always guesses what a gift is while opening and says "It's glubs!" (gloves) I don't know where this came from, but he does it at least once a Christmas.
15. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir cd - This reminds me of Christmas at Alicia's house because I think it's the only Christmas cd they own and they always play it!
16. Schlepping through all kinds of weather with my parents and siblings (and now MY family) to get a Christmas tree.
17. Opening presents with Alicia late at night - we used to have to open presents on a day other than Christmas because we traveled. This year we are not, but I think we are still going to open on Christmas Eve because that's just sort of become our tradition (and Parker will be sleeping!)
18. Christmas Eve church - I'm not normally a big organized religion fan, however, something about everyone in a room singing "Silent Night" a capella just gets me.
19. The way my mom is always so exhausted on Christmas morning (see number 6 on being behind) that everything is hilarious and we often reduce her to a laughing, wheezing mess!
20. All the crazy poems, songs and scavenger hunts my family does to give large presents. That's right, if we give a large, unwrappable gift we will do one of three things 1) re-write the lyrics to a popular Christmas song that gives clues about the gift and make the recepient sing the song in front of everyone 2) create a holiday themed poem that identifies the gift or 3) send the recepient on a wild goose chase throughout the house until he or she finds the cleverly hidden gift. Much hilarity generally ensues!
21. The way I still get excited Christmas morning - It's for different reasons now than when I was younger, but I'm excited either way!
22. Alicia's mom's Christmas sweatshirts, turtlenecks and pins.
23. My mom's snowman collection.
24. My Christmas spreadsheet (and yes, it's red, white and green!)
25. Memories of driving all over creation last year on and around Christmas to make Parker. (Best Christmas Gift EVER!)
Hopefully, when I get feeling down - I can come back and read this list. It certainly made me happier to write it down. I'm sure there are many more things that I am missing, but I think that, for now, this list has served it's purpose. 16 more days 'til Christmas!