Friday, December 16, 2011


When it comes to holiday cheer, I am disgusting.

I get out my Christmas decorations the day after Halloween and spend the next seven week meticulously placing each and every light, figurine and ornament in the exact place it will help me achieve optimum festiveness.  I take special care to place the glass balls on the bare spots to the inside of the branches of the tree, leaving room on the outer limbs for the unique features of snowmen and reindeer.

I love to have the lights on in the evenings for weeks before Christmas.  I have carols playing all the time.  They are on in my car, at work, while I'm cooking and cleaning.  I have even been caught singing them in the shower.  I hum to myself and whistle and smile more.

I love the smell of fresh cookies filling the air.  It beats the smell of burnt french fries from the night before or the smell of the six year old playing with paint and clay.

 I love passing out Christmas cards and shopping for gifts for my friends and loved ones.  I love dressing up the packages in beautiful papers and bows and thinking of clever ways to address the tags.

It's all fun.

I hate getting gifts.  I don't like to be the center of attention while things are being opened.  Especially when you open a gift from your mother or husband that you hate.  You have to smile and act like you love it.  Inside, your just hoping they don't notice weeks later that you don't have the hideous vase on the coffee table or that you haven't worn the sweater that looked like it was made for someones grandfather out of recycled yarn and iron-ons.

And it's not the break I love either.  I don't get time off from work, and I miss school terribly over the breaks.

The reason I love the holiday so, is that people are nicer.  Genuinely nicer, kinder.

Now of course I don't mean people like the crazy woman who pepper sprayed people in line at Walmart on Black Friday.  I'm talking about the average person you pass on the street.  Your neighbors, your co-workers, and your family.  People are a little more considerate, a little more selfless and a little more friendly.  You can see a softer, more childlike side to people.  It's not something that's forced.  These people aren't nice because they are being paid to be.  They are kind for no other reason than they can be and it's the right thing to do.

It is simple.  It is beautiful.  Watch and you will see people letting others go in traffic, neighbors sending gifts to people they barely know, people showing appreciation for servers, valets and bartenders they see everyday but usually ignore.

These small acts of kindness are the reasons I love this time of year.

So sing, and decorate and bake and wrap, but don't forget the most important part of Christmas...
love one another.

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