Here are some of the things I love about the holidays...
- Our family traditions - Every year we read The Advent Book taking turns opening a door everyday until Christmas. The book tells the Christmas story and on Dec 25 behind the big red door is baby Jesus. By Christmas my girlios have their pages memorized. We also read The Greatest Christmas Pageant Ever, which is a great book for any age. Our Christmas morning tradition includes not any opening gifts until breakfast is eaten and all cleaned up. Apparently, the girlios have noted, Christmas breakfast includes bacon.
- The opportunity to bless others - I know the holiday season has begun when Operation Christmas Child boxes come out. My girlios love shopping, packing and giving to children around the world. There are so many opportunities to give during the season - meals, adopting a family, shoveling, etc. We try to be cheerful givers. It really is better to give than to receive.
- Pretending that I do crafts - My craft graveyard suggest that I have good intentions but little productivity. However, I like to believe that I am crafty. And since I have 'free' time in the holidays, I like to make and create things. Sewing, scrap booking, knitting, crocheting. Small projects normally get done. Long term projects drop by the wayside (and into the graveyard) when the holidays are over.
- Reading books - Since I have been involved in academia since the dawn of time, I don't get a lot of time to read for pleasure. I read some great books to the girlios during the school year but the holidays offer me the chance to read books of my choosing. I love getting lost in a book. I like, as Bobbi puts it, a book hangover. Losing track of time, staying up way too late, getting lost in a book, laughing or crying, and speaking in the same dialect for the rest of the day are things I love about reading. Fiction, nonfiction. Classic, fluff. History of civilization, history of math, history of dumplings. Sweet holiday reading.
- Warm beverages, fleece and blankets - One word: coziness. I love snuggling in blankets with a warm cup in hand. Sometimes it is with a book. Sometimes it is just sitting. Normally, there is a dog at my side and one at my feet. We can fit a surprising number of people on the couch.
- Playing in the snow - There is sledding, skiing, snowshoeing, snowball fights, snowmen, snow angels. We love it as a family. If the snow is falling it is usually between 20-30 degrees, and we can tolerate it. Of course, there is cocoa afterwards. I love winter running too.
- Using the oven - In the summer turning on the oven is oppressive. During the holidays my baking switch turns on. Turning on the oven sends heat and smells around the house. Since I have a little more time, I can experiment with recipes, stock up the freezer and make old favorites. It satisfies my creative desires too.
- Hanging out with my family - The holidays are a special time for my family to be together. We could be playing a game together, cooking together, or reading books/playing in different parts of the house. There is just a peace when we are all together. Yes, we still have to referee girlio scuffles, but even the dogs know when the pack is all together. A special bonus is seeing member of the extended family - G'ma, G'pa, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. It's nice to catch up and spend time together.