Merry Christmas!

I want THESE on my lawn!
We're big on holidays. All of them, but especially Christmas.

Yeah, yeah, yeah ... Christmas is getting too commercial and we should all remember the reason for the season, etc. Honestly? I love all the hoopla. A lot. (Don't get me wrong. I love Jesus, too, and we certainly celebrate the Christian aspects of the holiday.)

Anyway, we're blessed to have enough. More than enough. And, we like to get into this holiday as much as we're able. This year we have more holiday than usual. I'm directing The Snow Queen for a local community theatre, and that's adding a certain amount of festive (and stress) to an already festive and stressful time of year. Plus, we're going away for Christmas. As soon as school lets out on the 23rd, we're leaving town for the Poconos and we're staying there until after New Year's Day. So ... you know ... packing and planning and lists and stuff. On top of buying and wrapping and printing and stuffing and mailing.

Well, back to Christmas. And Hoopla.

Every year we hit the sales when Lowe's, Home Depot, etc start marking down their lights and other outdoor decorations and buy more stuff. We add to our yard display every year. We have lights lining the roof, icicles along the porch, wreaths on every front-facing window, candy canes lining both the front walk and the driveway, C-9 lights on spikes along all the flower beds, lights around the pool, lights climbing our large oak trees in alternating red and white stripes to resemble candy canes, giant plastic balls hanging from our choke cherry tree, 6 plywood deer wearing giant bows are floodlit, and we are already making plans of what to add next. I think we're up to 47 strands of lights.

And we do lots of Christmas activities. We have two school holiday concerts. We go caroling in full Victorian garb with a local theatre group. We host a party and attend parties. We send nearly a hundred Christmas cards. I bake cookies and we exchange with friends. Once or twice a holiday season we pile in the car and drive all around town looking at Christmas lights (incidentally taking notes of things to improve our own display). This Thursday we intend to go see It's a Wonderful Life on the big screen. (YAY!) We play lots of board games, snuggle on the couch to watch Christmas movies and specials (anyone remember the Claymation special from the 80s? Yeah!), drink lots of cocoa.

The kids are into it, too. I can't wait to see how our holiday traditions and enthusiasm eventually evolve into new traditions in their own households.

Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you all have enough to go around and enough time to breathe and occasionally just enjoy the smell of pine or peppermint, the taste of cinnamon or ham, the sight of twinkly lights on snow, the hugs of greeting or thanks.


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