Merry Blogmas and welcome to Day 7 of the 12 Days of Christmas Extravaganza. We’ve had so much fun blogging about all things Christmas! Week 2 is only going to get better! We still have a Linky party to come as well as our 2nd giveaway on Friday, December 12th. Stay tuned for more details!
Also thanks to everyone who participated in our 1st Giveaway. If you still want to enter, click on the link below to do so!
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Okay. So by now you know I’m slightly neurotic and go a little bit overboard for Christmas. I wouldn’t say I’m Clark Griswold because I don’t fantasize about half-naked anybody in my fantasy swimming pool that I’m going to build with my bonus. Well maybe the half/fully naked Hemsworth brothers. But a) I don’t get a bonus check and b) I’m really all about the holidays so much that I can’t look past the 25th to envision the summer just quite yet. But I do relate. So maybe I set unrealistic plans for my family. And yes I like to really decorate and wouldn’t mind tromping through the woods to chop down a rustic tree. I may or may not have suggested hiding presents in the attic. And I certainly have one or two relatives who procreate way too much for their own good and would most definitely refer to the potty as the “shitter.” I have a colorful family that is for sure. Hey in the South it’s weird if you don’t have relatives like that.
I just set out every December 1st with the hopes and dreams of making Christmas extra special for my family. In my mind I picture Christmas as a warm house that smells of gingerbread and peppermint. The kitchen cabinets are full of sweets and crackers and baking supplies. The refrigerator stocked with punch and tea and cheeses and summer sausage. Coffee bubbles away waking the house. The oven is still hot from a fresh batch of Christmas cookies dressed up with powdered sugar and red and green sprinkles. Candles light the way to the living room that is buzzing with the crackling of a fire and little children dressed in warm pajamas playing with their toys from Santa on the floor. The tree is weighed down with special ornaments, twinkling white lights, and balls of red and gold. Atop the tree is a handed-down angel, old and glorious in her lofted position. The stockings hang from the mantle adorned with evergreens and tiny ceramic houses straight out of an Irving Berlin movie. You curl up next to your husband who is manipulating batteries into the backs of cars and talking dolls. You breathe in the crisp morning. You smile. The doorbell rings and in comes your family bearing gifts and honey hams and green beans and potatoes. The house is loud and alive and merry. Everyone opens presents and laughs and loves one another. You eat together at the table and say a prayer thanking God for the gift of that dear sweet baby. The snow falls (it’s a dream NC). You sigh. Merry Christmas.
And everyone looks and feels like a Norman Rockwell painting. No television. No family feuds. No dog humping your leg and SWAT team surprise. You join in a chorus of “Joy to the World.” Life is simple. Life is beautiful.
And I know that life isn’t always that way. I know that there will be a grumpy dad impatient as he has to wait for supper. I know there will be a hustle and bustle. I know people will get annoyed with family members they don’t completely get along with. I know there won’t be perfection. But every year I strive for it. Every year I plan activities and parties and schedules for myself and my family not because I’m this super crazy controlling Christmas freak. Well not completely because of that. But because I want my family to remember the simple. I want them to remember the beautiful. I want them to look back on Christmas morning and remember more than what Santa brought them. I want them to remember the traditions.
The letters written to Santa returned with a response and a postmark from the actual North Pole.
The crafts and ornaments made over the years that now hang from the tree.
The sounds of the mall on a busy shopping day as we head to see the Big Man himself.
The singing of carols and the crowd of the parade.
The smell of cookies and the feel of icing caked on your fingers as you decorate.
The ambiance of a completely decorated house that is fully created when you push the button that lights up the darkness with glitter and gold.
The movies and music and countdowns.
The special plate and coffee mug hurriedly prepared for Santa before the dash to beds.
The grass sprinkled with reindeer food.
The special Twas the Night Before Christmas book only read once a year.
The excitement of opening new PJs and books before bed on Christmas Eve.
The nervousness and joy of the church play.
The lighting of the advent candles.
The scripture read.
The little baby born in a manger personified by the small figure sitting on the end table beside of the couch.
The love of family.
The gift of Christmas.
These aren’t just silly, Pinterest-crazed ideas that I plan each year. They’re traditions, some new, some old, all important. Each year when I set out to live “Norman Rockwell” it’s not because I am trying to create something that isn’t there, I’m trying to reveal what is. Traditions passed down from family to family. Christmas traditions bring the holiday to life for generation after generation. That’s Christmas.
Read some other stories of Christmas traditions. Check out the 11 other bloggers of the 12 Days of Christmas: