Sunday, December 11, 2011

Things That Get Me In The Mood For Christmas

A couple of days ago it snowed a couple of inches.  Not enough to shut things down but plenty to cover the world with a blanket of white.  It made me feel more Christmasy.  Call me old fashioned, but I like a white Christmas.  It makes all the lights and decorations more vibrant and just cheers me up.

This morning I was sitting in my recliner and watching "Sixteen Candles".  It struck me that none of the kids in this movie were wearing any jackets.  Weren't they going to get cold?  I had to physically remind myself that this wasn't a Christmas movie. 

I have been writing about alot of Christmas movies the last couple of weeks.  I love Christmas movies.  Most of them are full of hope and joy.   They are about treasuring traditions and new beginnings. 

I love Christmas.  I love the shopping. I don't even mind the crazy crowds. 

I am a little bit of a gift overachiever. I want to find something that will make the person light up.  I look and look trying to find something they will like.

So except the last couple of years, since I have been working on Black Friday, I have shopped that day.  Sure the people are insane.   But there is something about that day that gives me the rush of Christmas spirit. 

I love the holiday songs.  Even the goofy ones like "Grandma Got Run Over By Reindeer".  But it is the old Christmas songs that really get me.  My favorite is probably "Oh Come All Ye Faithful".  It just takes me to the midnight masses of my childhood.  The way it reverberates through a church is incredible. 

The song "Silent Night" reminds me of my Catholic school days.  We had a nun, Sister Frances, who was very particular about the way it should be sung.  The line, "round yon virgin" was a key point.   She wanted us to pronounce "virgin" as "veer gin".  Not that I was singing.  Even as a child I was bad enough that I was quietly instructed to just mouth the words.  There wasn't even some kind lie to ease my pain.  Just mouth the words.  Someday I will tell you about my six weeks of clarinet lessons which ended just as badly.

Kids put me in the Christmas mood.  I think this happens for everyone.  We didn't have little kids in the family for a few years and it changes the tone.  There is something about seeing a child at Christmas who still believes in all the magic that brings it back. 

I love all the lights and decorations.  There used to a truck that was covered in lights and drove around our town.  It never failed to make me smile. 

Finally all the food.  Especially all the foods I shouldn't eat.  Like Christmas cookies.

One year when my son was still a baby, I made Christmas cookies with my mother-in-law and five year old nephew.  We had rolled out the sugar cookies and started putting batches of stars and Santa shaped goodness into the oven.

"What are we doing next?"  My nephew asked. 

"Well, we will make frosting and when the cookies are cool, we'll decorate them."  My mother-in-law answered as she cleaned up flour and sugar.

"Where is the frosting recipe?"  My ever helpful little elf of a nephew asked.

"Right here."  My mother in law answered tapping her forehead.

"Are you going to puke it up?"

So yes, puking up recipes makes me think of Christmas too. 

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