I’ve been getting a lot of flack recently, regarding my zest for the Christmas season. I may have put our tree up on Saturday, and there’s a chance I was listening to Christmas music beginning last week.
It’s not that I’m ignoring Thanksgiving; in fact, it’s the opposite. I think that Thanksgiving and Christmas go hand-in-hand. How can you celebrate Christmas without giving thanks? Thanksgiving is the time when we tally up our joy and gratitude, close our eyes, and say thank you to the One who gave it all to us. After that, how can you not be ready to celebrate His birth? We show our thanks through love and kindness, and by giving gifts to the people in our live. People can hate, but I don’t believe it’s ever too early to fall in love with Christmas. =)
This Christmas will be my first away from my parents, and also my first with my husband. That’s a big deal! I’m giving the season my all this year because I want our first Christmas together to be beautiful, the way mine always were growing up.
My family had the best Christmases ever. We got up early, made Pillsbury cinnamon buns, ate breakfast together and enjoyed the morning. We opened presents (one at a time: me, then my brother, then Mom, then Dad, and repeat!) with Christmas music on in the background, had subs from the deli down the street for lunch, and usually took naps in the afternoon. It was magical and beautiful and I loved it.
This year, Jordan and I are creating our own traditions. We’re holding our First Annual Gingerbread House Competition with friends from college in a few weeks (more on that later!) and have three Christmases-with-relatives lined up. The other thing we’ve started doing comes from the fact that, with only two of us, there aren’t that many presents under the tree. Instead of having a lonely tree, we’ve started wrapping empty boxes and tossing them under there, too. The rule on Christmas is that you can’t touch the presents before opening them, you have to choose blindly. When everything has been opened, the person who opened the least empty boxes, wins a (to-be-determined) prize. Kind of silly, but we had a good laugh coming up with it!
My parents have their own tradition. Rather than writing “To Shawn, From Jenni” (or vice versa) on every gift, they write other famous couples’ names. We’ve had: To-Bill-From-Hillary (and later, To-Bill-From-Monica), To-George-From-Gracie, To-Cher-From-Sonny, To-Martha-From-George, and the list goes on! It’s fun to watch them read the tags and even more fun when they can’t place the couple. (“Oh, you know them, they’re the couple on that show we used to watch when the kids were little that got canceled after two episodes!”) It’s a cute tradition, and I love them for it.
I guess what I’m trying to say with all this is that, to me, Christmas can never be too much or too soon. It’s a season about love, and giving, and kindness, and I’d like that to last all year. As the muppets say, “It’s in the singing of a street corner choir, it’s going home and getting warm by the fire. It’s true, wherever you find love, it feels like Christmas.”