2. Looking at the tree. We only have one tree (at the moment anyway), but I could look at it every night with my cup of hot cocoa (something I only seem to have during this season). I am mezmerized every day with it's beauty.
3. Cookie Exchanges. What could be better than gathering with friends and eating a variety of cookies? It's really the best of both worlds. This year we had it at my house along with Cheddar Brocolli soup and sourdough bread. MMmmm.... warm comfort foods.
4. Listening to Christmas music. Sad to say, I am probably one of those annoying people that could listen to Christmas music every day beginning with the day after Thanksgiving (and to be honest, I could probably listen to it long after Christmas Day). Gotta love the radio stations that play it 24/7!
5. Decorating the house. Growing up, we never had lights on the house. I always secretly coveted the houses that were tastefully (that's key, because I don't care for gaudy) lit up with lights. I now have a wonderful hubby that is willing to face the brisk weather and climb on his ladder to put lights on the roof. It is done simply, but just enough to bring a smile to your face.
6. Snow on Christmas morning. I know this doesn't always happen, but I love fresh snow on Christmas morning. A perfect setting for a wonderful day.
7. Advent Calendar. This is a new favorite for me. I bought a simple advent calendar to count down the days till Christmas. I enjoy watching Kyra run to it first thing every morning to take down another day. ***Sarah-I tried taking your idea to talk about a family member a day, but Kyra's memory every day was that she liked to play toys with that person. Evidently her memory is not broad enough yet. Great idea though.****
8. Opening Christmas Stockings. This was always a favorite memory growing up. My parents always put creative things in our stockings (excluding the orange and apple!), and I almost enjoyed finding the stocking as well as all the other presents. This will be the first year I do it with our kids, so we'll see how it goes.
9. Gathering with Family. Last year we went to Florida for Christmas to spend the holiday with some friends. Although we had a great time, it felt quite awkward to spend it without family. I love my family very much and love even more watching it grow and watching the new generations play and laugh together. This year my family will be at our house over the holidays for 4 days, and I am counting down the days. I am thankful God has blessed me with such a wonderful family.
10. Celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. I am not always faithful about reading my Bible or praying. But during this particular season I am thankful of all the reminders of God's love and His gentle nudge to love one another. The acts of kindness are always more evident around this season, which makes us see how important it is to love one another. I am thankful for such a forgiving, graceful, passionate, and loving God.