I love the holidays and Christmas time. I absolutely love it, love it, love it. There is nothing more festive than the December holiday season. I can’t think of any other time of the year when the entire country gets in on the celebrations. Almost every mall, shopping plaza, neighborhood, street, and home is decked with lights and holiday decor. Even if one is not into celebrating the holidays, you can’t help but smile when you see shimmering Christmas lights everywhere or little kids excited faces looking forward to Santa’s visit.
I know many people think that Christmas time has become too commercial. There is too much marketing out there, that it’s become more about the decor, the presents, the parties, than about giving and caring. I agree at times it does seem like marketing and commercialism has taken over the Christmas holiday season. But really, can you frown on something that brings so many people together? Yes, it is all about shopping, decorating, holiday parties, and gift giving, but all of these activities encourage a celebratory occasion to get together with friends, family, neighbors, and the community. Is that such a bad thing?
I love all that the holiday season brings, from Christmas decor, to Christmas lights, Christmas trees, to Christmas fairs, Christmas songs, Christmas presents, holiday baking, and Christmas movies. I love them all. All these holiday festivities gives us an opportunity to be part of something bigger than just us, to be part of a larger gathering.
To give you an idea of what I mean, while walking in the mall this past Black Friday I saw a lively band playing outside. The band was singing Christmas songs that made so many shoppers stop and smile and enjoy the music. We had strangers chat with each other and us while enjoying the festivities around. The holidays does that to everyone – they make us all friendly 😀.
Christmas Trees. What is it about a Christmas tree that brings families together? Picking the right tree, bonding over decorating it with ornaments both new and old, and finally like an offering at the altar, piling Christmas presents around the tree. All these bring such joy and fond memories to so many of us, and it’s such a wonderful family tradition that I hope my kids will remember for many years to come.
It’s not just at home, but Christmas trees can be seen everywhere, and I mean everywhere. In schools, shops, community centers, gyms, restaurants, hotels, cafes, and even banks. In fact, Christmas trees are such a big part of the holiday season that the White House makes a big deal about their Christmas tree with a nationally televised tree-lighting ceremony event. Christmas trees really epitomize the universal appeal of Christmas – it’s knowing that no matter who you are you can pick out a Christmas tree big or small, decorate it and make it all your own.
Christmas presents. I absolutely love Christmas presents. What other time of the year can you think of when EVERYONE can get a present? Not just Moms on Mother’s Day or Dads on Father’s Day, or just the birthday girl or boy, or the anniversary couple, but EVERYONE can get a present for Christmas.
I love giving Christmas presents. It’s about giving something special from the heart. Whatever it maybe, it’s the thought that counts – it really is. A simple gesture to say, “I appreciate you” or “I’m thinking of you this holiday season.”
Christmas presents are about knowing that someone thought fondly of a friend or family member to want to gift a present. That they took the time and energy to pick something that they thought that person would like. And then took the effort to wrap it and present it. That takes a lot of caring and love. I do appreciate that gesture so very much.
There is also something truly special about opening a present. The anticipation, curiosity, and excitement of not knowing what’s inside. How can that one act of opening a present bring out so many emotions in us? I think we are never too old to receive a little present 😊.
Those who know me well know that another reason I love Christmas presents is because I get to wrap so many presents. Gift-wrapping is a hobby of mine, if you can consider it a hobby. I love wrapping presents and embellishing them with this and that, some twigs from the garden, an ornament and maybe even some candy. It all presents itself into a little work of art – a wrapped present work of art that is. I so relish the oohs and aahs that I get when I present my wrapped presents to friends and family. My kids have expected some beautifully wrapped presents from me over the years, and if I dare not do that for their presents, I get a disappointed look.
But let’s be clear, the holidays are not all about presents, at this time of year the best gift one can give is the gift of helping others by helping families who are unable to celebrate the holidays the way we imagine it. The holidays are a great time to give generously either through online donations, volunteering, or even just donating a toy or two at the local fire station.
Our family loves the Family Giving Tree program. Every year we pick loads of wish tags from the Family Giving Tree and dedicate an evening to go shopping for those who cannot afford to purchase presents for their loved ones. I only wish I could do my wrapping magic on these presents, but alas, the Family Giving Tree specifically asks that you not wrap any presents, just stick the tag on the present so they know who it’s for. Nonetheless we love this program. It’s a great way for each of us to pick the wish tags that speak to us. In Sri’s case she loves picking wish tags for little babies and toddlers, while Rani likes to pick ones with princesses and dresses on their wish list. The best part of this gift giving is the fun everyone has shopping for the recipients of the Family Giving Tree.
Despite how busy we have been all year, somehow we make time over the holidays to reconnect with old friends and acquaintances and just meet up with good friends too. Many office parties set the holiday mood, and schools join in on all the holiday celebrations as well. It’s easy to get into the holiday spirit with so many upbeat events happening all around us.
The holidays are really all about celebrating friendships, family time, holiday gatherings, great food, and giving of our time, interspersed with Christmas trees, lights and decor adding to the jubilant holiday setting. It’s all these wrapped up in one big happy holiday celebrating peace and love 😀❤️.