Some of my favorite things…
I love our community Christmas parade. From the time I was in high school until my children were grown, there were very few parades I did not participate in. I have been a clown and a beauty queen. I have marched with the Aurora Woman’s Club, rode on floats with clubs and my church. I have led the parade and even acted as pooper scooper behind the horses (not my favorite thing to do). I have been on a float with Cub Scouts and marched along behind rescue big strong boys from frightening clowns. I love standing on the sidelines waving at friends and neighbors. Seeing old friends in the crowd and being reunited if only with a wave and a smile. I love the feeling of Christmas, unity and joy the fills the air. The excitement of the children as they rush forward to grab candy and gifts tossed from floats and cars. I love a parade but especially our hometown Christmas parade.
Christmas lights and decorations. I love when the town-works guys bring out the cherry picker and start hanging the snowflakes about town. They are so delicate and pretty. Maybe, if we lived someplace where we had snow on a regular basis, not every two or three years, the snowflake wouldn’t be such a wonderful thing. But here in the south where snow is a luxury that shuts down everything, the pretty little snowflake lights are wistful and fun. I also love to see Ms. Lib’s window displays. She has the best window displays for every season, but she goes all out at Christmas. Ms. Lib, a local hair stylist has a salon on Main Street. Her window displays are legendary. She also has lovely decorations in her yard. The library rivals Ms. Lib for window designs and the museum decorates the fossil park.
I love Christmas cards. I love giving them and receiving them. It is one of the reasons NaNo messes me up. I enjoyed doing NaNoWriMo this year but with it being in November, it makes me too tired to do some of the other things I enjoy doing for Christmas, like my large volume Christmas card/letter writing. I used to love to do a newsletter with highlights of what the kids and I have been up to but now that we’re up to twenty grandchildren I can’t keep up.
I don’t decorate a lot at home because of work and it seems there’s just no time anymore. With a fulltime job, chairperson of the Pamlico Writers’ Group and trying to launch my writing career, something has to give, my poor house needs a friend. I do just what has to be done. Maybe a few days off after the new year will help. My favorite decorations are the snowflake Christmas lights my husband bought to go on our porch. I want to keep them up all year because they are so pretty. The first year, I think I convinced David to let them stay up to almost Easter, telling him the snowflakes could pass for flowers. I really liked those lights, especially coming home from work and the porch being lit up. I love putting the Christmas cards up on the doors, their varied pictures a kaleidoscope of Christmas. But when we put the Nut Crackers on the mantle, unwrapping each one and placing it just so, the love we feel because they were a gift from David’s sister to replace the ones he lost when our home was destroyed by fire. Somethings, no matter their price, have a value greater than money because the heart of the person who gave them. I have ornaments made by a child’s hands and collector’s items, the ones made by the children are more precious than anything money could buy.
Christmas Eve we’ll have a party with the whole Hollister family and a few extras thrown into the mix. Children will run around squealing and laughing, the adults move a little slower but laugh and sing and play. We exchange inexpensive gifts, sometimes gag gifts, sometimes stuff we’ve made, but always something from the heart. We eat, each year we do something different from quiches to soups to this year, we’ll have pizza. It’s all about being together.
Christmas morning, what children who will come and open gifts. My husband and I love filling the stockings. He buys a hundred dollars-worth of chocolate for me and the daughters-in-law. I have fun stuffing gifts into each one’s stocking, making their stocking as much delight as the rest of their gifts. We open gifts, have a big breakfast, usually it is French toast casserole, but we’ve had waffles and ice cream, and monkey bread. This year we’ll go to my uncle’s house for lunch and back home for sandwiches and a couple of games of cards (my husband and sons cheat).
What are some of your favorite things about the holidays? Do you celebrate Christmas or another holy day? What are some of your traditions?