What i love about Christmas time
Christmas may be all overly commercial and stressed out. And for some sad reason it has to come right in the beginning of flu season. But that doesn't mean it isn't the MOST wonderful time of the year. Here's a list of things I love about Christmas time:
1. Christmas movies - I don't mean the lame ones like the Santa Clause or Fred Claus. I'm talking Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, the Polar Express, and lately the Nativity Story.
2. I love going to the Walk Through Bethlehem at the local Lutheran Church. They have done it every year as long as I can remember. Its better than a live nativity because they do the whole village, and everyone talking about the census and the strange star shining and the poor woman they saw riding a donkey. As you pass through, some shepherd boys stop you and tell you about seeing angels - this is where I always start crying - and then you go through a door and you see hosts of angels proclaiming the arrival of the Messiah. Out one more door into the cold parking lot that has a stable built and there is the holy family with some donkeys and sheep. They don't say a word. Its just beautiful.
3. I love going Christmas shopping all by myself. No one else keeps the same speed as me. They always want to go somewhere else or get tired before I am. I like to just wander through the stores by myself and take my time and buy a little something here and a little something there.
4. Christmas cooking. I'm talking sweets, baby. I am going to try a new thing this year. You cut snowflakes out of tortillas, deep fry them and sprinkle them with powdered sugar to make snowflake fritters. So pretty and yummy.
5. It's my birthday and even though I never get a party and I always get two-in-one gifts, there is still something special about it being my birthday.
6. I love drinking hard liquor in the cold - like hot toddies or Irish Coffee at the courthouse lighting. I know it sounds bad, but I'm not talking about getting wasted. I just like the heat of it sliding down my insides when it is so cold on the outsides.
7. Christmas Eve services. I am such a sucker for little kids singing praises to Jesus, and they don't ever do it as enthusiastically as at Christmas time. I cry and cry all through church. Its wonderful. Especially when MY kids are involved.
8. Waiting for it to snow. Even though we live in Arizona and it rarely snows here until around February or March, I still like to look outside and think "This could be it."The skies get all grey and dreary, and we are all walking around blowing our noses and the only thing that would make it all worthwhile is some big, fat flakes falling and sticking to the ground. Its wishful thinking but it does really happen sometimes.
9. Driving around looking at people's lights. We also incorporate the Town of Prescott Valley's City of Lights display into this, but I'm most excited about the lights people (mainly dads) go out in the cold to staple, hang, wrap and smother their homes in. We don't do outside lights, but Daddy does do the lights on the Chrismas tree. That's a daddy's job.
10. Fun and excitement are in the air. I know that most of it is commercialism. But I just read the greatest thing about Christmas in Anne Rice's book "Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession". I already returned the book to the library, so I can't quote, but she talks about how those storefront displays and those carols on the radio and over the speakers at the mall, etc. are the closest many people get to the Lord at Christmas time. They DO remind us of the hope that is in the coming of Our Lord. And that excitement may be over what we are getting and what we are giving, but more than a few times during the season, everyone remembers that God came down to be one of us, and he didn't do it in splendor or pomp. He came as a baby, and a poor baby at that. So that every thing we go through in life we can know that he has been there.