I could turn this into a shopping list but, let's face it, most of you don't know me well enough to buy me anything in the first place. Besides, it's been a while since I actually sat down and thought about what I wanted, as opposed to how I was going to get what my little one wanted, that I'm not sure I could come up with a whole lot that wouldn't be filled by family. (You know, like warm socks.) There's probably a few literary gifts out there I wouldn't mind, and a few I'd even like, but the majority of my wants this year are practical and dependent on my getting paid.
Other than a few intangible things that aren't really sold and therefore can't be bought.
None of which detracts from the season. As a public service warning, this is the one time of year I cast off my usual bitter, cynical, and pessimistic self. So if you're expecting some snarky treatment of the holiday, look elsewhere. This is going to be steeped in things like Holly and Misteltoe. (Come to think of it, both of those are poisonous and therefore probably not the kind of thing you should steep something in.)
Christmas is my favorite holiday. Something which is undampened even by the most lack-luster tv holiday special. "Olive the Other Reindeer" is a new favorite book... the hour-long cartoon was a terrible disappointment, not least because they felt the need to embellish the book. Whereas no matter how often I see it, "A Charlie Brown Christmas" gets to me each and every single time.
I listen to "A Christmas Carol" sometime during the weeks leading up to Christmas. Have every year now for the past decade or so, and it's just become a tradition. I have Christmas carols of every sort, and they will play on my speakers pretty much non-stop between now and the day itself.
I like wrapping gifts. I'm even pretty good at it, and it doesn't phase me knowing that big box that took me ten minutes to get just right will be reduced to shreds in the time it takes me to blink. It's part of the fun, and being around kids on the day itself is something I wouldn't want to part with.
I buy egg nog. I even like a decent fruit cake. Last year I even got to try some mead courtesy of my local liquor shop. I'm hoping they have it again this year. And in this final week I will very likely go shopping for everything and anything while wearing my Santa hat. It's not terribly cool, but I don't care.
And not least of all is the general sentiment that pervades the season. Yeah, it would be nice to have the feeling of goodwill towards are fellow human beings all year round, but I would contend most of us who are inclined to give and volunteer do so regardless of the season. Yet there is something a little extra in the air this time of year, and people who might not otherwise do so are willing to part with their time or that little bit of extra change. And do so gladly, and with nary a complaint. Many will do so solely for the chance to spread a little holiday joy where there might not otherwise be so much. Or any at all.
So that's my take on the holiday. If you want to shoot holes in my Yuletide traditions and spirits, you're welcome to try. I'm hanging lights and stockings and setting out that plate of Christmas cookies anyway. Maybe even some carrots for the reindeer.