I know, I know - we’re talking about Christmas in the middle of June? But, we must, because that is how special Christmas is to us. Now, this is not to discount all the other wonderful holidays we love to celebrate year round, because the fact is, we celebrate anything and everything possible: a good day at work, a personal accomplishment, or just because it’s a Wednesday.
Also, you should know that April, May, and June is the season we call ‘Birthdaymageddon’. Including ourselves, and both of our extended families, we have 15 birthdays over the span of three months, so every weekend we’re having a birthday party.
But back to the most important celebration of the year: Christmas. Christmas begins December 1st. The house gets decorated, the Christmas music starts playing and there’s at least two Christmas-themed movie nights per week (including, but not limited to: Home Alone, Elf, It’s A Wonderful Life, Family Man, Bishop’s Wife, While You Were Sleeping, Meet Me In St. Louis, Scrooged, and lots of the old Disney classic cartoons).
Picking a Christmas tree is its own special tradition. We wait until dark, bundle up - (this includes Mabel in a sweater, of course), blast Christmas tunes in the car, hit up Starbucks for hot chocolates, and then head to a family-run tree lot a few miles from our house. We take our time, considering many trees, until we find just the right one. Once we get the tree home and it is perfectly placed at the window, we begin the tree trimming ceremony. We strike up the record player with Elvis’ Blue Christmas or Nat King Cole’s Christmas Carols as we hang ornaments. Each ornament holds a special memory; whether it be one from our respective childhoods, or from a trip we once took, we love to reminisce. Once the tree is all decorated and the house is tidied, we cozy up with a cup of tea, watch ‘White Christmas’, and admire the tree all lit up.
Throughout the rest of the month, we attend holiday parties, both socially and for work, and make special visits to places like ‘The Enchanted Forest of Lights’ at Descanso Gardens, or the LA Zoo’s ‘Zoo Lights’ or Candy Cane Lane. We always have a big family party the week before Christmas with my extended family, and then we get ready all week for what we call ‘German Christmas Eve’. In honor of Daniel’s heritage, we host a German feast, complete with pretzels, sausages, potato pancakes and lots of German candy and cookies. It’s an open house, so friends and family stop by throughout the evening. It’s a lovely time of celebration and togetherness. We usually wrap up around 9pm so we can make it to a Christmas Eve service. ‘O Holy Night’ and “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel’ are two of our favorite Christmas carols and for us, capture the true heart of Christmas.
The Big Day: we wake up early on Christmas morning and load the car up with tons of gifts for our nephews and nieces. It’s pure delight to watch them open their gifts! The rest of the day is spent relaxing with family and eating way too much food. We can’t help but dream that by this next Christmas, we’ll have the gift we’ve been praying for, and get to wake up to the sparkling eyes of our new little one, with hearts full of joy and gratitude. It would truly be the best Christmas ever!