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10 Things I Love About Christmas

There is something very special about Christmas, that runs deeper than all the gifts and busyness. I love this time of year. There is something very comforting about Christmas and the run up to it. I have been trying to pin-point exactly what it that makes Christmas so very special.

There is no single thing, though. Each of us takes in to each new Christmas the happy memories of Christmases past, and the anticipation of Christmas present. We catch the excitement of those around us… I do think to be surrounded by children at Christmas heightens the experience.

Here is my top ten things I love about Christmas:

    1. Carols I love traditional Chritmas carols. The make me feel safe, They remind me of my childhood. I use to, as a teenager, listen to Carols from Kings, as I wrapped Christmas Presents- a tradition inherited from my father. I added to the tradition with the lighting of candles. In my pre-baby stage of life I also loved going to watch night services on Christmas Eve. Now I am satified with the traditional Carols courtesy of Classic FM!
    2. Christmas Food Again Christmas food is so very comforting. Imagine how truly bleak mid-winter would be without the glorious smells and tastes of Christmas cuisine. It is a time to indulge on fine chocolate, fabulous spiced breads and cakes, brandy butter, Christmas puddings and truffles, chestnuts… is there a finer meal than a full Christmas dinner, and the wonderful aromas that accompany it?
    3. Decorations I am not one for those vast vulgar displays of Christmas illuminations, we seem to have inherited from our American cousins. But I do love tasteful Christmas decorations; although when your home is decorated by young children tasteful is out and a degree of vulgar is in! But again how bleak December would be without the twinkling of fairy lights, and the flickering of candles?
    4. That Excited Feeling of Anticpation The air is heavy with it at this time of year. what more can be said!
    5. The Peace of Christmas As I grow older amidst the busyness and the excitement I am aware of a peace that is found at Christmas. I put it down to the change of focus from the worldly to the heavenly; from self to others. At Christmas we do think more of family and focus more on those we love. Giving is so much the heart of God, the nature of the divine.
    As people slow down, as work ceases, as shops and pubs close a stillness can descend, like at no other time.
    6. The Smells I find smells create strong memories for me. And at Christmas time the smells are glorious: cinnamon, cloves, Christmas cakes cooking in the oven… wonderful.
    7. Christmas Television I am not a great watcher of TV, but I always find something at Christmas that is a bit special!
    8. Boxing Day Walks After eating far too much on Christmas Day and feeling a tad guilty, not to mention bloated, a Boxing Day walk is the best walk of the year. It makes you feel virtuous. It is made all the better if there is snow on the ground, and you are surrounded by beauty.
    9. A White Christmas Doesn’t happen that often, but when it does it is very special. One of my favourite Christmas memories was being at a Christmas Eve Watch Night Service and the doors being flung open at midnight for us to find it had started to snow.
    10. The Christmas Story I know Jesus was not born on December 25th (more likely some time in September) but really it doesn’t matter. We are celebrating the birth of a Saviour, the bringer of hope, and peace. The Christ-child, given to a young couple, poor and insignificant in the world’s eyes, living in a back water of Judea. Is that not worth celebrating?

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