I love Christmas. Like little-kid love. Like oh my gawd Santa is coming. Santa! Like Elf-level of love.
I love the planning. Paying attention all year and trying to find the perfect ornament for each kid. I have to report that once again, I hit it out of the park (I'm nothing if not humble). A replica Orange Line train for Emma to commemorate her new adventure living and going to school in Boston. For Dylan, a custom made ornament showcasing one of his photographs. Photography is a new passion and he has a real talent for it. Both were surprised and happy with their ornaments this year.
It's not just gifts that make me love this time of year although they are awesome.
I love the entirety of the festive feel to the month of December. Hanukkah, Christmas, Yule, and New Year's Eve all contribute to the month long celebration that has come to define the last month of the year. As if we have decided that the we are going to usher out the current year and ring in the new with as much fun and good cheer as we can muster. I'm of the mindset that I don't much care what good cheer you wish me as long as you're not wishing me or mine harm.
Maybe that's why I love Christmas music so much. It makes everything more festive. I have to give my family credit for putting up with me and my rabid love of all manner of holiday music. From the silly (I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas) to the pop-star penned (Mistletoe) to the traditional religious (Silent Night – especially the acapella version from Boys II Men).
I'm a secular Christmas celebrator and that's what I'm passing on to the kids. I was raised with Christmas presents and Santa and I turned out OK. So far, the kids seem to like our celebrations just fine. This Christmas we are spending the holiday with my in-laws in Maryland. It's been a few years since we've been here and I've really missed it; so have the kids. None of us realized how much until we got here the other day.
When the kids were younger, we spent every Christmas in Maryland and it's great watching them reconnect with everyone. Watching them together, I realize that we can't wait to long between visits in the future.
Enjoy the people in your life while you can. Regret is one of the worst feelings in the world especially if you regret the time you didn't spend with someone.
Happy holidays to everyone that spends a few minutes every week reading what I have to say. I am honored and humbled that in your busy lives you take a few minutes to check in on mine.
Barbara Mulvey-Welsh is a mother, writer and blogger raising kids and a husband in Plymouth. Check out her blog at "Did I Say That Out Loud?" Use caution when reading around the family, there is some strong language.