The 12 things of Christmas that I like, that is! I was tagged by my beautiful bloggy friend J to do this meme:
Please share 12 of your favorite Christmas things: they can be memories, traditions, songs, presents, beliefs, whatever it is about this season that you love.
1. Lights! I love putting up and looking at everyone's lights. There is something so cheery and festive about them. Why is it that only fancy restaurants and shopping centers have caught on to the fact that lights are cool any time of the year?
2. Cookies! My mom is a great baker, and since she has worked outside the home since I was in elementary school, the only time she really baked was at Christmas. So we got Russian Tea Cakes and Jelly Thumbprint Cookies, and fudge and all sorts of wonderful treats that we never got at any other time. And who doesn't like cookies? If you don't like cookies, I'm going to have to ask you to leave. Now.
3. Midnight Mass! I'm not sure if Midnight Mass is a purely Catholic tradition, but it is a "High Mass" that involves lots of singing and pageantry. When we were old enough to stay up that late, we always went together, and it brings back memories of a simpler time for me, when religion wasn't so complex.
4. Barbies! I got my first Barbie one Christmas, and I have the picture of me holding her, backwards, towards the camera to prove it.
5. Food! There are Italian foods that were cooked/made/bought traditionally at Christmas such as pizzelle, torrone, and lamb and homemade polenta. Mmmmmm....
6. More food! When my German grandmother passed, we sort of adopted this impromptu tradition of making Christmas Eve "German night" where we would make and buy German food and share a meal in her memory.
7. Mr. P! There is nothing quite like having a young child, full of the belief in Santa and his sleigh to warm your heart and temporarily empty that reservoir of adult cynicism.
8. Good times! My family used to decorate the tree and house together, along with Christmas music playing and hot chocolate. Trust me, it was a huge job that required four people. My mom has so many ornaments that without my sister and I to help, it takes her three or four days to do it by herself. My dad sort of helps, but not so much.
9. Ornaments! The ornaments on my tree are primarily ones that I inherited from a neighbor that passed away a few years ago. They are all vintage glass, and I like to think that he is pleased at the new home they have found.
10. The idea of caroling! I haven't actually caroled in a long time, I did it for a couple of years in my teens. I love the concept of people going around and serenading their neighbors, but sadly, it just doesn't happen any more.
11. Picking out presents! I really do try to pick out things that people will like. My parents request that we give them a list of what we want, but do not provide one themselves. And neither does anyone else, but I enjoy the challenge.
12. Decorating! I love the stockings hanging over the mantle, putting up the Christmas cards everyone has sent, the special snowman cookie jar and all those other cool little things that only come out at Christmastime.