Everyone has a holiday they claim as their favorite. For me, it is definitely Christmas. The bright colored lights, store windows seasonably decorated, and the smell of pine in the air are some of the many things that help to put me in the holiday spirit. There is so much to enjoy about Christmas, from giving gifts, to eating a delicious Christmas dinner. What’s more, there are many things we can do to prepare during the season for that special day. Here are a few things I love and enjoy to do over the holidays and Christmas that have become traditional in my home.
The first preparation is the house. Inside and out. We pick a day the first week of December, go into the attic, and unpack the Christmas decorations and lights. After getting our house decorated, the rest of the preparations and celebration can begin. Christmas and holiday cards are a way we can send greetings to friends and family. Every year we try to personalize our Christmas cards, either with our names printed in the card, or a photograph that serves as a card. The photograph cards work well for us as a way for all to see our family together, year after year. My relatives are spread out and we live in different states. Buying presents, packing them in boxes, and standing in long lines at the post office became a chore, so we decided to draw names. This way, we are only buying for one person. We can also go online and send the gift right to them. No more long lines, anywhere!
Another holiday tradition I enjoy is making ornaments to go on the tree. With the simplest of materials you can make lovely decorations that are personal and nice. Everyone piles in the car to assist in selecting the tree, and we get a real tree every year. I think a real tree is beautiful and fills the home with a great pine scent that reminds me of the season. Every time you walk in the house you can just smell Christmas!
Holiday shows are great! And, there is no other place we would rather be than Radio City Music Hall, in New York City, to see the Rockettes and the annual Christmas Show. It’s a wonderful family show filled with bright costumes, and those high kicking, world-famous Rockettes, entertaining and sending good cheer. This is a show we don’t ever want to miss! We also brave the cold and stand in line to skate at Rockefeller Plaza, and end the night looking at the creatively decorated windows of stores, such as Macy’s and Lord and Taylor’s, and more!
At home in Florida, we have two places we visit every holiday season: Tradewinds Park in Coconut Creek and A1A for the boat show. Lights, lights, and more lights! That is what you will see! At Tradewinds Park, for an admission fee, you stay in your car and drive through the park to view life-like decorations in beautiful lights. From snowmen, to reindeer and Santa, himself, this is a magnificent light show. The boat show is a parade of private boat owners who have decorated their boats in lights, and these decorations are elaborate and stunning! It is sunny South Florida’s way of celebrating the holidays with hot, tropical temperatures for our yuletide season.
My last tradition was started by my children. On Christmas Eve, we gather around the tree, and open one gift. This started when they were small and very anxious to see what was under the tree. They suggested opening just one gift before Christmas morning and so, a new tradition was started. Of course, on Christmas morning, as the first one rises, we grab the camera and video to record the memories of another year. To top off our holiday, a delicious meal, family gathered around the table, laughter, conversation, and sweet smells makes for a wonderful Christmas.