This is Part II of the trilogy that started yesterday (because those of you that know me, know how much I love trilogies).
So after we talked about how to alleviate the stress of Christmas shopping, I told him the real reason this season is so special to me. As I noticed on the comment board, I am not the only one who "gets" this.
With the onset of Thanksgiving, lasting until just after the New Year, something cool happens. Families get together more, friends get together more, and although it may not seem like it at times, we all tend to slow down and make the time to "fellowship" more. The air actually smells different: sort of a cookie/pine/crisp aroma that is a constant reminder of what is upon us. (It is much like the smell of Spring and baseball or Summer and swimming, or Fall and Halloween) It's the excitement of a potential "snow day"-which we never really grow out of. I still secretly hope for a day or two of being completely snow bound (don't lie, you do too), a day when we can pull out the sleds, hot chocolate, old movies, Scrabble and maybe even snow man making supplies. I love it, and I won't deny it! Sometimes I even want the power to fail,just for a short while, but long enough to break out the kerosene heaters that only warm a single room in the house, and force all who inhabit it to gather in the same room without the company/distraction of a television.
I love that four wheel drives are the majority of the vehicles that are able to travel the roads, and that they creep at unnatural speeds, keeping it between the ditches, not the lines. When the snow is so thick that the world is white, and tree branches are heavy, and nights aren't dark because the moon reflects off of the glittering ground, I know why I love this time of year. It is the only time of year that I ever regret walking through my yard, because I don't want to flaw the perfection created.
When I was a child, my sibling and I always thought that you couldn't ever sit and watch for the snow to begin falling or it never would begin, but if you were able to start watching it as it was already falling, it would never end. The snow is a definite part of my love for this part of the year, but that is partly because it indirectly brings families and friends (with four wheel drives) together, and offers them a time to laugh and love without distractions.
I love looking at the Christmas lights and watching "Christmas vacation" with friends/family. The beauty my church exalts this time of year. All the advent candles have been lit, and all the 'special' services are over, and for a little while, I am sad. After this season, decorations come down and the whole world looks like a wet, undecorated wedding cake.
But during the holidays, I am peaceful and absorbent. I take it all in and smile at the Scrooges, in hopes that maybe it will help their day.
In short, I love the holidays because of snow and lights, Christmas hymns and poinsettias, power outages and four-wheel drives, giving for the sake of giving to see the joy on someone else's face (and the fact that you don't have to send thank you notes for Christmas gifts), hot chocolate and reliving of memories, games, love and laughter, and children who still believe and still read "Twas the Night Before Christmas". I love the holidays because they give us time to slow down and appreciate each other, and watch "Christmas Vacation", "Charlie Brown's Christmas", "Mickey's: A Christmas Carol", and "A Christmas Story". I love the holidays because of peppermint Bark, fudge, cookies, smoked weinees, ham biscuits and hot apple cider. I love the holidays because of family and friends, but most of all: friends who ARE family.
HAPPY Holidays to all and to all a good night,