In the words of the festive Buddy the Elf, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.” We discovered yesterday that our neighbors agree whole-heartedly with this theory (they had two concerts on their front yard – one at 2 PM and another at 6 PM – complete with tents large enough to keep an audience of 50 dry from the pouring rain). While I’m not as…let’s call it “adventurous”…as my neighbors, I have been making more of an effort to get into the Christmas spirit this year.
“Dear Santa Claus, How have you been? Did you have a nice summer?”
The factor that makes the holidays truly special is kids. Having them around makes the traditions feel extra meaningful. I love spending Christmas with my niece and nephews or cousins’ kids, watching them marvel at the Christmas tree and the magic that comes with the day. Nothing quite compares to seeing the holiday through their eyes.
“Darn thing looked like it was made of green pipe cleaners.”
Since we’ve spent Christmas morning at someone else’s house, we’ve kept Christmas decorations to a minimum the past few years. It’s been nice, albeit a smidge lazy, to vicariously enjoy their decorations while keeping our house minimally decked out. Next Christmas, we’ll have a little one who will have no idea what’s going on, but I imagine will be as in awe of the sparkling lights on the tree as I was as a girl. We bought a new tree this year, along with some other grown-up decorations, and it makes me smile to look at the tree, thinking about what next year will bring.
“Is your house on fire, Clark?”
A lot of people, including myself, go for joy rides this time of year after the sun sets to take in the outdoor decorations. I’ve completely avoided putting those up in years past. Perhaps I was a bit scarred by National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, as the idea of putting up those trimmings always seemed to bring more risk than reward. My husband put up lights this year, and it’s exciting to drive up to the house, not only enjoying how pretty they look, but also feeling a sense of pride in thinking about the happiness those lights are bringing to passer-byers.
“Merry Christmas, you wonderful old Building and Loan!”
Not to downplay Buddy’s knowledge of Christmas; however, my personal opinion of the best way to spread Christmas cheer is by sending holiday cards. I especially love the ones that come with pictures of peoples’ families and/or updates of what’s happened in the past year. I’ve been well-intended with sending out cards myself the past few years, yet haven’t quite made it to the point of sending them. This year, I’m determined to do just that and spread some cheer of my own!
“I mean, just see how low the Claus-o-meter is.”
December can be a difficult month as we get older. There seem to be just as intensely sad memories of Christmastime that get added to the memory bank as there are happy ones. It’s tough, maybe even impossible, to be as constantly excited about Christmas like good ol’ Buddy is, yet it doesn’t mean that there aren’t some really happy ones just waiting around the corner.
“You guys give up yet? Or are you thirsty for more?”
While I love a good movie quote as much as the next person, it bothers me when I hear a reference I don’t get. In case you were wondering about where any of the quotes above are from:
“Dear Santa Claus, How have you been? Did you have a nice summer?” – A Charlie Brown Christmas
“Darn thing looked like it was made of green pipe cleaners.” – A Christmas Story
“Is your house on fire, Clark?” – National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
“Merry Christmas, you wonderful old Building and Loan!” – It’s a Wonderful Life
“I mean, just see how low the Claus-o-meter is.” – Elf
“You guys give up yet? Or are you thirsty for more?” – Home Alone