Merry Christmas, everyone. Here is a brief collection of some of my favorite Christmas memories in honor of the holiday.
- Dollar Tree Christmas shopping with the family. I've written some about that in this previous blog, so I won't expand much... but this is one of my very favorite Christmas traditions. Every year, it's a mystery what we'll receive. I've gotten everything from Hawaiian leis to wax lips to enormous plastic candy canes.
- Advent calendars. As a kid, even if I remembered exactly what it said behind the little door from last year, it was somehow still exciting to get to open it again and read it.
- The time we came home to find that our church had chosen us, as a larger and not-very-financially-well-off family, to surprise with a large amount of gifts and toys. I got more gifts that year than I ever had, but it wasn't about the items themselves as much as it was being overwhelmed by our church family's generosity.
- The year almost every single one of my siblings decided to make a pipe cleaner octopus to hang on the tree.
- Christmas Eve services at our church. Especially the ones with some sort of candlelight vigil. I remember always being afraid I would end up with burning wax dripped on my fingers, but if I let myself relax, I could truly feel a sense of the sacred, as the church filled with whatever hymn or carol was chosen in the soft glow of the candlelight.
- Caroling at nursing homes and hospitals with my youth group. Walking up and down the halls singing old and new favorites and hearing the people around us join in made me feel all warm and fuzzy.
- Performing New Life's "Christmas Cheerifier" skit, all about a pastor who hires a group of carol singers to burst into song at the first sign of a possible carol segue. "In the past week, I've had four speeding tickets, three sick grandparents, two flat tires..." "AND A PARTRIDGE IN A PEAR TREE!"
- Singing and dancing in Huntington's Christmas revue two years in a row. Others may have gotten sick of the constant holiday cheer, but I loved putting on my Christmasy red shirt and white scarf and starting off the show with "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" and "Sleigh Ride."
- Driving around with Josh Herndon and Sarah looking for pretty Christmas lights. When we found ones we loved, we pulled into their driveway, knocked on their door, presented them with a bag of Christmas cookies and told them we loved their lights.
- Spending my first Christmas with Jacob last year. We weren't married yet, only engaged, but having him join my family and me for our holiday season simply felt like the most natural thing ever.
May this holiday season create good memories for all of you.