Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Christmas kind of snuck up on me this year. I knew this would happen seeing as I was out of commission for the month of November. Nevertheless, I am loving this time of year. I always have and always will. I have so many wonderful memories of Christmas growing up with my family and I love the traditions we keep and the memories we continue to make each year.

I've always been really into Christmas. We wouldn't even be finished with Thanksgiving dinner and I was the kid asking when we could put the Christmas tree up. In high school, I worked at a year-round Christmas store. I spent the year lighting and decorating trees, listening to Christmas music and stocking ornaments and Christmas villages. I loved every minute. I love it when one of the local radio stations starts to play nothing but Christmas tunes and wear I my Santa hat while I do my Christmas shopping.

My favorite part of Christmas is the traditions. For as long as I can remember, my siblings and I have done a secret Santa gift exchange. The thing is, it never ends up being secret because someone inevitably slips and then next thing you know, everyone knows who had them. It never fails, but it's one of those things that I love about us. Another tradition that we've started in the last few years is having a girls cookie day before Christmas each year. Sometimes it is my mom, sisters, aunts and I. Other times, like this year, it is just my mom and I. We each pick a new or favorite cookie recipe and spend the day baking and gossiping and giggling. This year, I made Snickers Stuffed Brownie Chunk Peanut Butter Cookies...and it was a huge success! I got the recipe from a fantastic blog I follow, A Whisk and A Prayer. Check it out...she posts some great recipes and was totally right when she said these cookies were life changing.

The best part of Christmas in my family is that it's not about the gifts. Sure, my parents still ask us to make Christmas lists, which become more boring every year as we get older (this year I asked for pots and pans). We still do stockings for my parents and get them a few gifts. But when I look back at Christmas over the years, I'm not reminiscing about the gifts we got or gave. I'm remembering the moments...the wonderful memories I made with these amazing people.

I try to always appreciate the wonderful life and family that I have, but the holidays always make me extra emotional and appreciative for all the blessings in my life. I hope you all enjoy the holidays with the people that mean the most to you.

Merry Christmas!