This weekend was the first full weekend without any mandatory overtime for my husband. We used this sudden increase in mutual free time to finally dive into Christmas. We spent hours (and way too much money) buying Christmas lights for the house. We dug up all of our Christmas decorations, fully mindful that I might just be creeping over to TJMaxx after everything is said and done and buying more decorations. Since we finally once a house, we decided to retire the fake tree (and by "retire" I mean, "set up in the crafts/cats/future second child's room" sans ornaments) and get a real, live (for now) tree. We've taken full advantage of the in-wall speakers that we installed and have been blasting Christmas music in a way so loud and so constant that Gitmo has been taking notes. And I've been starting both Saturday and Sunday morning with big, homemade breakfasts as if it were Christmas morning already.
I don't know exactly why Christmas traditions mean so much to me. I once wrote my dad a 3-page email in college, arguing for a Christmas tree, because he wanted to skip getting any type of tree that year. In a world where people dread seeing their in-laws, I get excited over going to Ohio for Christmas, because of all the traditions and rituals and general fanfare surrounding Christmas. More so than Thanksgiving, Halloween, Fourth of July, my own birthday, New Year's, I love everything involving Christmas.
In fact, the only thing I couldn't care less about when it comes to Christmas is the one thing that everyone puts an over-emphasis on: presents. And maybe that's why I'm so gung-ho about Christmas: I avoid stores like plague. I do my best to do my Christmas shopping online, or in passing throughout the year, and I focus on the parts I love most. The traditions that hold everyone together. The love and the kinship that can get taken for granted, especially during the harsh winter.
There's a quote from the show Community that I absolutely love. To paraphrase: there's something beautiful in the fact that we all look forward to a holiday that takes place in the coldest, darkest time of year. We put up lights and sing songs and see family and friends in the heart of winter. It's why I love Christmas and I'm a-okay with it being just days after the shortest day of the year (even though, if we're getting technical, Jesus was born in the springtime *sigh*).
This is one big "why I like this me me me me me" post, but, oh well. Fresh batch tomorrow. Hang tight, kids.