This week: 13 things that you like about the Christmas season.
1. Christmas lights.
2. Christmas music, and the fact that I can walk around in public humming it to myself without too many people thinking I’m insane. Advent carols, too: “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” is a big favorite with me.
3. Advent services at church. The wreath. The fact that the pastors at my church here bring back the robes after ordinary time. (It’s both symbolic and practical–I don’t think they’re fond of losing half their body weight in sweat under those robes during the summer/fall around here.)
4. Memories of the epic Christmas pageants at my old church (which, in varying years, included camels, elephants, tigers, sheep, and cockatoos…a donkey…and I think there may have been a horse one year. All this and about 400 people, including small children and a baby, and candles–like I said, epic).
5. Mulled cider is kinda awesome.
6. Cold weather (or colder weather, anyway). I don’t think I can move to the southern hemisphere, because Christmas in the middle of summer is just a weird thought to me.
7. I freely admit this: The Christmas drinks at Starbucks. (Have any of y’all tried that caramel brulee latte? It’s pretty good, but it has enough sugar in it to fuel a rocket, I think.)
8. Making cookies, and having a really good excuse to unload them on other people. (“It’s the holidays! EAT THESE NOW!”)
9. The Charlie Brown Christmas Special (which I MISSED THIS YEAR *sigh*).
10. I also freely admit this: I really do like giving and receiving stuff. For better or for worse, I think giving each other stuff is a love language in my family. I don’t think it’s a way of buying one another’s affections, but rather a way to say, “Hey, I was thinking about you and figured you might like/need/be amused by this. See, I’m paying attention and value you enough to spend my cash/time/skills for your edification and happiness.” That’s how we roll. It doesn’t necessarily have to be store-bought; we make or do a lot of stuff for one another.
11. The annual McClendon Christmas tacos. That’s right, folks: We do tacos at my house on Christmas. Because we’re weirdos. Again, that’s just how we roll (and people wonder why I turned out like I did).
12. My dad is about to have a fit (sorry, Dad), but winter beers–St. Arnold’s Christmas Ale, Full Moon, Winter Hook…
13. A chance to reflect on the Incarnation, on Jesus’ coming, on His being with us.