Thursday Thirteen – Things I Love About Christmas

I am sick. Therefore I am bored. Therefore I will blog. Too bad that this has to be the correlation that makes me sit down and actually write a post. Seriously.

Here it is. Thirteen Things I Love About Christmas

Edit: So a dear friend just informed me that I actually put 15 things instead of 13. Ooops. I guess I got a little excited. But there’s no way I am deleting two. They are all way too important!

1. Decorations – I love decorations at Christmas and since I’m still living with the parents (cough, cough and knock on wood) I still get to enjoy all of my favorite childhood decorations. I’m hoping to take pictures of them all and put them up here soon!

2. Rudolph – I seriously love Rudolph. As a child I was never big into Santa. I think I always knew that he wasn’t real and I was ok with that. It made me maybe a little less selfish because I knew that my presents came from my parents and that I should be grateful. But I loved me some Rudolph. I remember in Kindergarten we did a big Christmas play thing for all of the parents and each class dressed up as some fun holiday decoration and sang songs. I have no clue what my class was but I remember sticking a red dot sticker on my nose and calling myself Rudolph for one whole day. It was so much fun. Rudolph was the underdog reindeer. He needed love and I liked him. He had gusto. Go Rudolph!

3. Hot Chocolate – Yum yum!

4. My Family’s Stocking Tradition – When I was little my parents wanted my brother and I to be able to contribute to gifts somehow but without spending a lot of money. So we started the Stocking Swap. We put everyone’s names in a hat and then we all pull one name. Whoever’s name you get is whose stocking you have to fill. You have to have something Homemade, something Edible and something under $10 (it used to be 5). It’s really fun to see everyone’s creative and thoughtful sides come out as we do this. It’s all a secret until we open the Stockings on Christmas afternoon.

5. Lights – Especially when you squint your eyes oh so slightly and they get all blurry. It’s such a wonderful sight and it makes me happy and feel all warm and fuzzy.

6. Candy Canes and Peppermint Things

7. Being Together As A Family – It’s nice to just spend “chill” time with my family during Christmas. We all hang out the days surrounding the big day and eat meals together and play board games and watch Cheesy Christmas movies. During college this was always such a much needed break and time for me after being with college aged kids all the time. Now it’s even more special since my brother is married and his wife (whom I love) gets to join us!

8. Christmas Parties – I’m a sucker for a good Christmas party. Some of my college friends and I would throw some great ones always with extremely tacky and hilarious White Elephant exchanges. One year I hung out with my friend Chelsey and some of her friends and we ended up having races on those bouncy balls with handles in the dorm hallways – it was so funny! And did I mention that people bring amazing food to Christmas parties? Yum yum!

9. Telling Complete Strangers Merry Christmas

10. Giving Back – Growing up my family would always volunteer every year around Christmas with a ministry downtown that helps parents get presents for their kids. It was a highlight for me every year. This is the first year that the ministry is not doing it for many reasons and I must admit that I am sad. But I feel that I have seen so many other people give back this year and it’s been fun to watch. If only we could continue our giving spirits year round!

11. Christmas Music – On the radio, on CD’s, at my church’s Christmas Concert, I love it all. Just don’t play that “Christmas Songs” too many times. For some reason it starts to irritate me.

12. Watching Cheesy Christmas Movies – I’m always up for a good Hallmark Movie but the Christmas ones are great! My friend Sarah and I watched one a couple weeks ago called “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” and it has Henry Winkler (aka the Fonz) and it was amazing! My all time favorite Christmas Classic is Holiday Inn. My mom raised me on White Christmas and Holiday Inn.

13. Christmas Cookies.

14. The Love Feast on Christmas Eve – This is my absolute favorite day of the year. Well next to Joy Prom. I love Christmas Eve. Probably even more than Christmas Day. We have a Moravian Love Feast at our church complete with Hymns sung while holding the Hymnal (gasp, what are those?!!) and the reading of Scripture. It’s such a special time. At the end we light candles and hold them up high while singing my most favorite Christmas Song – Silent Night. Every year I take a mental picture of it and try to save it for the whole year.

15. Jesus! While the above things are all fine and dandy, Jesus truly is the reason for the season! I am challenging myself this year to focus on Christ and his Incarnation and not all of the frivolous stuff. Christmas is about so much more than a little baby in a manger – it’s about the Gospel! If you would like to know more about Christ and who He is, check out this sermon from my church.

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