I'm not going to pretend that I'm one of those people who can't stand the capitalization of Christmas. I love the Christmas season! Lights up everywhere, funny commercials, Elf on tv almost 24/7, and (for reasons beyond my powers of comprehension) people wearing ugly sweaters in public even though wearing that sweater any other month of the year would be an absolute affront to mankind itself. But let me share what I love MOST about this month...
My friend and I went Christmas shopping yesterday and felt exhausted by the time we came back to my house for dinner. Successful, but exhausted. That of course meant that everything was funny and we laughed so hard. What I love about this month is that there is so much more to laugh at and find joy in. After dinner, we headed over to another friend's house for an impromptu movie night. We made a cookie skillet and watched a newer movie together (if your reading this, guys, sorry about that movie. Terrible choice). All that time enjoying the smell of baking cookie, the warmth of the roaring fire, and sitting by the sparkling tree. What I love most this month is the time our group of 5 spectacular weirdos gets to spend together making memories and having the truthful conversations we have.
There are many events at our courthouse square at Christmastime. We never miss one, because that feeling of old-fashioned community celebration is addicting. But as I stand and breathe in the bitingly chill air, smelling smoke from unfamiliar fireplaces, ignoring my aching cold feet, it's as if everything else - stress from work, relational issues, silly existential crises - is silenced by the sound of hundreds of people singing Silent Night in unison. What I love most about this month is that after the crowds dissipate and go home to their warm beds, I can still hear the echo of those voices raised together even while I stand alone and look up at the lighted courthouse.
We open presents on Christmas Eve in our house. We always have. I remember thinking that's what everyone did when I was a child. I think we do it that way because my grandpa was in the military and had to work on Christmas day when my dad was little. So it's just tradition. What I love most about this month is explaining that to people again and again. I don't have the slightest clue why, but I just do.
I guess you could say I have a nostalgia bug, but I don't even care. These are only a couple examples of why I love the Christmas season so much. The season isn't represented by the cheap decorations and pre-packaged gifts that big box stores display. It's not represented by the chaos of the airports and malls as people scramble to accomplish things they've been forgetting about since July. And it's definitely not represented by a paper coffee cup (yeah, I went there). The Christmas we all get excited about is represented in the unconscious smiling of parents when they watch their kids open presents. It's represented in the taste of your great-aunt's sugar cookies that you've eaten every December since before you can remember.
And it's represented in those you spend it with. The sound of their laughter, their voices as they sing overdone carols with each other, and their reminding you that the reason we throw this huge celebration every year is because this is the birthday of the greatest man who ever lived, the one who loves us so much that he turned himself into a human child, the most vulnerable thing in the universe, in order to be with us forever.
So yeah, you could say I'm a Christmas person.
Published by Christina Rowland