Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Have Yourself a Merry Little ChristmasI don’t know about you, but I LOVE Christmas! My father and I share this love and have been known to start listening to the ole’ Christmas cds as early as October! (If the truth be told, my dad always has Christmas music on hand in the car, and my random mix on the iPod includes a few Christmas songs for year round reminders of this time of year!)

To some, Christmas is just another day—the end result of a fast-paced blur of shopping, baking, social events, work parties, obligatory gift-giving, etc. And to me, that’s so sad; it’s so sad that it has become this to so many! But to just as many, it still holds its importance and remains a very special time of year. It’s that time of year when our inner kids get to come to life again!

We all have our favorite ways to celebrate the season! Here are a few of mine, with some added ideas to make this Christmas even more merry!

  • Read the Christmas Story! My Mother’s family makes it a point every year, when we’re all together, to first read the account of the birth of Jesus. It began as an effort to calm the kids, to remind them of the real reason behind our celebration and to hopefully open their eyes to the true ‘magic’ of Christmas. It was an effort to shift the emphasis from getting gifts to the greatest gift ever given.
  • Put up a Christmas Tree! Come on now, how can Christmas possibly be the same without a Christmas tree in the house!? This one seems so obvious, yet I’m always so surprised when I hear people say that they aren’t putting one up this year . . . While I know that everyone has their reasons, to me, it just doesn’t seem quite as festive without the tree!  Here’s a list of area Christmas Tree farms, if you want to go all out and cut your own! Check out Kara Williams’ recent post, “2nd Annual Knoxville Christmas Tree Farms Roundup!”
  • Break out the Christmas music and movies! Whether with the hubby, the kids, or the girlfriends, have a Christmas movie night! Break out the pjs, the popcorn and hot cocoa, turn on the tree, light the fire and enjoy those favorite holiday movies!!
  • Go carolling! Although we haven’t done it in years, I absolutely LOVE this! I think that it’s such a fun way to celebrate with friends and family during the Christmas season. I can remember taking a hayride out through the countryside with my cousins when we were all hudson and santachildren, bundled up beside our parents, stopping at the homes of those we knew needed a little company. From behind every door we knocked on, we were greeted with such excitement and joy . . . and even a few tears. It’s such a great way to share some ‘cheer,’ to connect with others and to rejoice in the celebration! Consider getting a group of friends or family members together and visiting local nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Some of the people there may not have anyone with whom they’ll share Christmas.
  • Do Something for Someone Less Fortunate. There are so many local charities that do so much during the holiday season for those in our own communities! Google away! Volunteer to serve a meal, buy a gift for the Angel Tree or pack a Christmas shoebox for a child somewhere in the world!
  • Hang some mistletoe! And use it!
  • Make Christmas Cookies and Take Them to the Neighbors! Let the kiddos do the decorating!
  • Send a Christmas Card to an Active Service Member or Veteran!
  • Go see a Christmas Show! There are quite a few to consider, but by far, the best Christmas event I’ve ever been to (and there are some great ones here in town), is Keith and Kristen Getty’s, “Joy, an Irish Christmas” at the Tennessee Theater! Tickets are nearly sold out! Check out these other great Knoxville Christmas Events!
  • Put out a Nativity Scene! This was one of mine and my sister’s favorite childhood activities at Christmas time!  There was something so fun and satisfying about setting the scene of the birth of baby Jesus! It’s a great way to re-tell the Christmas story to the kids too!
  • Get an Advent Calendar! This is such a fun way for kids to count down to Christmas!
  • Attend a Candle-light Christmas Eve Service.
  • Learn about Christmas Traditions all Over the World. This is a fun holiday activity for kids, as well as an educational one. Check out this site for fun Christmas facts from around the world!

Whatever you and yours get up to this Christmas, I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!!

What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions?!

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