I love the weeks leading up to Christmas.
As soon as Thanksgiving passes, I have my Christmas playlist at the ready. I’m already planning what cookies I’m going to bake. I’m already planning what winter-themed activities I should do first.
Once December hits, I like to start counting down the days until Christmas with our Advent calendar; every day I pick a Velcro-backed figure from its little pouch and stick it to the felt Nativity scene. The stars and the angels go up first, then the shepherds and the wisemen. And lastly, little baby Jesus in his manger.
It seems funny to me that my brother and I used to take turns filling the Advent calendar. I’m the only one who does it now.
I’m a sentimental person. My older brothers have long outgrown winter activities. I take charge of decorating the tree. I do all the holiday baking.
Every Christmas, I make sure to enjoy the season no matter how old I get. Without fail, I uphold my childhood traditions, For instance, I always go to see the Christmas lights at Watkins Regional Park in Upper Marlboro; the glowing figures dance, leap and twirl there through the chilly winter nights. When I was a child, I stayed glued to my parents’ car window, my breath fogging up the glass and the seatbelt straining against my eager body. It seemed like magic back then.
My brothers haven’t been to the light show in quite some time.
I still make my parents go with me every single year.
Even now, I take childish delight in the small things. I love drinking hot chocolate. I love hanging Christmas tree ornaments and sitting in front of the tree, watching the lights transition from color to color. I’m captivated by the way glass, glitter and plastic catch the light and throw it back at me. I don’t think there’s anything that brightens a room quite as much as a lovingly decorated Christmas tree.
Christmas to me is still magical. And though it has a much deeper meaning to my Christian family and me, it is also a time of giddiness and fun.
Though December also brings stress now that I’m an adult dealing with finals and homework, I’m glad I haven’t lost my passion for Christmas. I was raised in a traditional home, and I am determined to carry on those traditions always.
If I ever have children, we will go to the light show every year. We will bake Christmas cookies. We will dance in the kitchen together with flour streaking our hair from the gingerbread dough, belting carols at the top of our lungs.
I sure hope my future husband loves Christmas as much as I do, because I never plan to stop enjoying the holiday with childlike glee.