Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday Fives

*I'm totally aware that it's Saturday night as I post this. But I did technically start working on it yesterday, so that counts, right??

So many blogs that I read (or used to read...I don't have as much time to read all of them anymore) have weekly blog topics. (Like Wordless Wednesday for example.) I have wanted to do something like this, but didn't want to just copy someone else. So, I've decided to create Friday Fives. Every Friday I will post 5 things. They could be anything...recommendations of books, songs, kid's toys. Or five things that I am happy or sad or frustrated about. Or 5 hot topics that I feel the urge to write about. Anything! But every Friday I will list 5 somethings on my blog. (Are you so impressed with the eloquent way that I just phrased that paragraph? Surely I could come up with another word than "somethings" but alas...nothing is coming to mind.)

So, for today, Friday Fives Week 1, I will list my 5 favorite Christmas traditions. (I LOVE Christmas, so it was hard to pick just five...)

1. Listening to Christmas music. I start much earlier than most people (day after Halloween) because I love it so very much. Some songs bring back memories of my childhood, some make me tear up, and all of them bring a sense of peace, joy, and happiness to my heart.

2. The Stocking Reveal. When I was a kid, my parents saved their stockings to open until us kids went to bed. Then they opened them up, just the two of them, on Christmas night. When we were a little older, they let us in on the fun. We sat around our living room, and took turns opening one present at a time. (They were all wrapped.) Before we opened each gift, we had to guess what we thought it was. It was one of my favorite traditions then, and something to look forward to all throughout Christmas day. (It alleviated that post-Christmas let-down. The one that occurs when the presents are all unwrapped, the dinner is eaten, and the guests have gone home.) Now that I am married with a family of my own, Dan and I continue the tradition. We each buy 10 stocking stuffers and wrap them up. Then, after the kids are in bed and our jammies are on, we sit around and open the gifts one at a time, trying to guess what each one is before opening. It's a great time to spend together just the two of us, and relax after the hustle and bustle of the day.

3. Classic Holiday Movies. I adore all the old Rankin/Bass movies. Rudolph, The Year Without a Santa Claus, Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus is coming to town, etc. When I sit down to watch them, I am transported back to my youth, and for 30 minutes or an hour I feel like a kid again. The magic of Christmas is there, and all the stress that seems to come with the season melts away. When they're over, I do my best to hold on to that magic, and remember that the season shouldn't be about the stress. Even though i'm an adult, I have small children who I am thrilled to experience all the wonders of Christmas with.

4. Christmas lights. Every year Dan and I drive around different neighborhoods looking for Christmas lights. I adore seeing the sparkling, twinkling lights shining in the dark night. This year, we went for our yearly drive with Stephanie and Joseph. Joseph slept the whole time, but Stephanie was beyond excited to experience this tradition of ours. She shrieked with delight every time we spotted a lit up house, and begged for "more! more! more!" As we drove around, the four of us together in the cozy car, I felt so happy that I have these three amazing blessings in my life, to share the magic of my favorite time of year.

5. The Christmas Story. There are so many many things about Christmas that are special and magical. But the most important is the miracle that took place on the first Christmas. I always pause during this time of year to remember that Christmas is not just a commercialized holiday. It's not just about the tree, the lights, the music, the cards, and the gifts. It's about the birth of Christ, and while I know not everyone who reads this blog is Christian or religious in any way, I am, and to me this is the most important part of Christmas. The reason for the season. I am doing my best to teach Stephanie why we celebrate Christmas, and the importance of the birth of that baby all those years ago.

So there it is. A day late, but my first Friday Fives. Now to think of a topic for next week...

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