I love Christmas. It's been my favorite for...ever.
When I was little, it was one of two days I ever got presents (the other one being my birthday), so I always knew exactly what I want. But it's more than presents; it's how everybody is a little more cheerful around this time of year. It's the festive decorations and the smell of pine. It's twinkly lights and hot apple cider and gingerbread cookies.
My parents are Buddhist, so it's not exactly a religious holiday for us. My sister is now Jewish and refuses to acknowledge Christmas exists (we exchange "holiday" presents and the Christmas tree has to be gone by the time she arrives for New Years).
I love getting/making presents for people. This year I have to be a little more...crafty than most, but fortunately I live next to a Daiso and a Japanese grocery store. When I was little I used to draw pictures for my parents, and one year in college I made bookmarks (index cards, markers, scotch tape, electrical tape). I never really understood the concept of preferring something handmade over store bought until I became a teacher, and began receiving generic gifts in mass quantities. Chocolates, lotion, bath gel...I was lucky enough to receive enough to last me the whole year! I'd bring them home and share them with every non-teacher I knew.
This year, I can't put up a tree since I live in an apartment and that would be a pain. There's not even really a lot of room for my Christmas decorations. But that's okay. It still feels festive to me, despite the lack of ostentatious decor.
And now I am enjoying Christmas movies! I love any Christmas movie. ELF - Will Ferrel is just so sweet in it (surprisingly), and Zooey Deschanel has a beautiful voice. HOME ALONE - a classic. I think I always liked it because I'm the same age as Macaulay. IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE - a MUST watch for the holiday season. THE SANTA CLAUSE - Even though I'm not a huge Tim Allen fan, I think this is a smart movie and answers a lot of questions. POLAR EXPRESS - I watch it just for the message: believe. And to listen to Josh Groban sing. A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS - once I bought the music for my orchestra, I started watching this every year. It's kind of sad, actually, and as a kid I never noticed how mean everybody is to Charlie Brown!
I even went to watch the very boring Jim Carey version of Christmas Carol.
What are your favorite holiday movies and traditions?