Friday, December 23, 2016

What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!

Christmastime is probably my favorite time of the year. I love everything about the holiday season: time with family, giving gifts, the music, the mood, the food. People are so joyful and kind during the holidays, and while I wish everyone could be this way year-round, it makes me so happy to see others so happy and excited during this time. I also think there's something just so magical about this time of year. As children, we believe in the magic of Santa and winter break and just the whole season. It can be difficult to hold onto that magic as we grow older, but there are ways to recognize that magic and spread it around as we grow up.

While it's fun and exciting to receive presents during the holidays, there's something almost more magical about giving. Taking the time to pick out a gift for someone special that you just know they will love creates so much love and happiness in our hearts. Volunteering to give others a better holiday than they might have had spreads the joy of the season. Spending time with family reminds us of the love we've always known. Traditions show us where we come from and remind us what's important to us during this most wonderful time of the year.

I've put together a list of some of my favorite parts of the holiday season. These are things that help me rediscover the magic I felt as a child during Christmas year after year, even though I'm grown up now. We don't have to lose that magic that we felt as children. Sometimes we just have to be reminded how to find it again.

Listening to Christmas music

Last year I made a playlist of all of the Christmas music I've enjoyed throughout my entire life. Whether it was all of the classics I heard on the local radio station or my family's favorite albums, listening to these songs that I've always listened to year after year always helps me to truly feel in the Christmas sprit.

Watching Christmas movies

The same goes for Christmas movies. Though we always have Hallmark Christmas movies playing at my house, there's nothing like those great movies I grew up watching. My favorites include Home Alone, The Santa Clause, and Christmas with the Kranks. And a few years ago, I really got into White Christmas. These holiday flicks never fail to make me feel all Christmas-y.

Oh, Christmas tree

My family has always gotten a real Christmas tree. Every year we go to the same Christmas tree lot, spend a good amount of time walking around and fighting over who's found the best tree. Eventually we decide on one and lug it home. The moment we set it up, the smell fills the house and makes it feel like Christmas. Then we get to put the lights up and decorate it, which is one of my favorite Christmas traditions. Sitting in the living room at night with no lights on except for the tree is one of the most magical feelings in the world. If sitting there looking at the beautifully lit tree and breathing in that natural pine smell doesn't get me in the spirit, I don't think anything will.

Looking at Christmas lights

Last year my friends and I started a tradition of driving around town and looking at Christmas lights while drinking hot chocolate. Being with friends and jamming out to Christmas music while looking for the most extravagant light displays is so fun and a great way to see how others feel the Christmas cheer and spread it through their decorations.

Giving gifts

As a child, I thought the most magical thing in the world was opening presents with my family on Christmas Eve and then waking up with my sister at the crack of dawn to sneak to the living room and see what Santa had brought us. While that still seems like one of the most magical feelings in the world looking back, as I've grown up I've realized how special it is to give gifts to others. I love the feeling of finding that perfect gift for someone and giving it to them. Watching them open their gift and seeing their face lights up never fails to warm my heart and fill me with Christmas magic.


I absolutely love traditions, particularly when it comes to the holidays. Just ask my family: I'm crazy about following traditions. When we gather on Christmas Eve to open presents, I make everyone sit in the same spot every year. Plus I love when we decorate cookies and make goodies together. Doing these things year after year helps me to truly feel that Christmas has come.

Christmas seemed like the most magical time ever when I was a child, and as I've grown older, it's become a little harder to find that magic every year. But I've realized that I just have to look in different places to find that magic. I still believe in the spirit of Santa and the magic I felt as a child when my sister and I woke up in the middle of the night to see what he brought us. Though I can't necessarily do that anymore, I've found other ways to feel that Christmas magic. Ultimately, nothing is better than the love and joy we spread during the holiday season, and that's where the Christmas magic truly is.

What are your favorite holiday traditions? How do you feel the Christmas magic?

Lots of love,

Dr. Seuss, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!"