It's that time of year! Time for you to listen to me tell you stories of the many delightful things that roam my mind at Christmas.
We'll start you out slow, not with a poignant yet funny vignette, but with a general list of some things I love about the holiday season. How about 12 things, both because this is the twelfth installment in the series and because there's that one song about the french hens and milking maids (which I love to hate, though the Bob and Doug McKenzie version rocks.)
1. The smell of those holiday scented candles - not cheap ones from Walmart or even Target, but proper expensive Christmas scented candles from those Partylights people or Bibelot et al.
2. Christmas music. All of it. Heck, I'll even throw in the Dradle song. I love Christmas music almost as much as I love Christmas lights.
3. Finding the perfect parking space at Target on a busy Saturday. Talk about the holy grail.
4. Holiday sweaters. Mind you, I wouldn't wear one, not even if the love of my life knit one by hand as a gesture of pure devotion (let's face it...I've had bad experiences with Christmas knitting,) but I LOVE LOVE LOVE seeing them on other people. It boggles the mind how a person could see a $75 cardigan with a Santa and sewn on sleigh bells and sequins and the nativity scene and say, "My, that would look good with my black stirrup pants!" (Let's see...how many things are wrong with that sentence?) Hours of amusement for a catty fashionista such as me, I tell you.
5. Kids who are scared of Santa. He's fat so you can out run him, he's jolly, and he gives you anything you ask for. What's not to love? In fact, if you were a bit older, I'd say marry him.
6. Decorating my Christmas tree. There's the anticipation of the ornaments, and the twinkly little lights, and hiding the pickle and the basking in the glow of its beauty. Sigh.
7. Mulled wine and mince pies. This is an England thing. You can buy these things pre-made, or you can get all handy and make them yourself. (The wine is actually no harder than making a cocktail.)
8. Secrets. I love secrets. I can't always keep them, but I love them. And Christmas is all about the secrets.
9. Peanut brittle. You just don't see a lot of peanut brittle in March. Or cheese balls. Or gift boxes of oranges. Or my sister-in-law's bitchin' toffee. Or scrabble mix (aka chex party mix).
10. TV specials and Christmas movies...Charlie Brown, the Grinch, Rudolph, of course, but I'm also a sucker for A Christmas Story, Miracle on 34th Street (old AND new), Home for the Holidays, Scrooged, Elf, It's a Wonderful Life...pretty much anything except Home Alone.
11. Even better than those old standards are the "very special" variety shows hosted by a cavalcade of "stars". If there's a has-been actor singing, you're lucky. If there's an Osmond on the show, even better.
12. The excitement of the last day of work before you are off for the holidays...no work is done, you always eat too many little snacks and when you leave the building just for a second you feel EXACTLY like you did when you were a kid and had no responsibilities and could leave school knowing you had a whole school holiday ahead of you to do nothing but play with new toys. Man, that feeling ROCKS.