I love Christmas! I enjoy everything about the season. The lights, the music, the smells, the preparation all leading up to Christmas Eve where the vibration in the house is so alive you can feel the energy. I just got back from visiting New York and spending time with my family. Going to my childhood home for Christmas is nothing short of a magical winter wonderland.
My parents throughout my entire life have spared nothing in their quest to have the jolliest most festive Christmas possible. They go through days and weeks of preparation. They toil to drag the boxes down from the attic and decorate the entire house. Our robust tree that my brother personally forages from a snowy hillside has more than a few ornaments. Garlands are hung entwined with lights. Dishes, glasses, jars, candy holders, napkins and utensils are replaced with bright and cheerful holiday versions. Bed sheets, blankets, pillows, towels and shower curtains turn red and green. Stocking are hung, wreaths and bows are affixed to doors, windows and banisters and the LGB train set is carefully set up.
There are multiple kinds of Christmas cookies, cakes, pastries, chocolates, mints, stuffoli, torrone, tortoni and chestnuts to eat if you have room after the cheese, olives, pepperoni, salami, fennel, breads, crackers, dips and shrimp. And then IF you can handle it the pasta, meatballs, meat, potatoes and other vegetables are waiting.
They put so much care and thought into gift giving. They research and shop, shop and research for hours and hours to find the right gift, the perfect gift. Each item is then carefully wrapped adorned with gift tags and lovingly placed beneath the tree.
My brothers and I take time to enjoy the LGB train set that my dad has been collecting since we were children. Each year we usually add another piece to the collection. When we were young the trains provided hours of entertainment as we raced the trains, switched tracks carefully as not to cause a collision and created an array of stories about the people who “just” missed their train. We may not spend hours playing with them now but we can’t resist tinkering at least for a few minutes!
I enjoy looking at the tree lit up with thousands of little lights inspecting each ornament as the smell of pine wafts through the room. I love listening to music being played including old tunes from Bing Crosby, Andy Williams, Dean Martin and Connie Francis. I love popping the Christmas poppers to get the prize inside, uncorking a bottle of wine, playing games with the family gathered around the table, leaving cookies for Santa on the kitchen table, cracking open chestnuts, wearing my personalized Santa hat, lighting candles, eating pasta and fish on Christmas eve, sharing stories of those who have gone before us and remembering them with a smile and a laugh.
Christmas at home is the one time a year where I get to feel like a child all over again.