Things I love about Christmas:
1) The music. Now that I have a compact house with a compact sound system (iPod Touch with Bose speaker) I can listen to my heart's content. Certain songs make me smile more than others including, but not limited to, Nat King Cole's O Tannenbaum. My mother's Norwegian grandfather thought the funniest thing he ever saw was an Irishman speaking German (that would have been my father), so listening to NKC's version of the German classic especially warms my heart.
2) The tree. I broke down and purchased an artificial tree this year. When I went to the store I almost asked for a "fake" tree but amended my vocabulary to say "artificial." They call them "permanent" now. Can't keep up with the terminology. I once broke into a conversation about Christmas trees at the office saying, "I love the fact that it's been a tradition since pagan times…" only to find out that one of the co-workers was a Jehovah's Witness. Oops.
3) The cards. There have been very few years I have not sent out a card. I gave in to the annual letter in the early years of having small children. Lately I have been sending letters with outrageous news (last year's divorce and move, this year's wedding which was a bombshell for my Catholic relatives). Still, I love receiving cards and hearing from everyone.
4) The cookies. I still bake a lot. While I eat a lot fewer cookies than I did in the old days, I still make four kinds and give them as gifts to a number of people, including Milton. Milton was a friend of my father's who took me under his wing when I was a teenager; he is like a father to me. Boy-child calls Milton his Jewish grandfather. Milton happens to love spritz cookies so I either mail or deliver a tin of them to him every year (for the past … 35 years).
5) I used to love to shop but that's not as intense now. The Girls are anti-consumption, Boy-child is no longer into Legos enough for me to purchase big sets and spend the night putting them together. I do, however, still love to find a bargain and I've found a couple of clever things this year. Everything is on a much smaller scale though.
6) Snow. Not too much of it yet, but I haven't lost hope.