Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Christmas Checklist

The blue skies and warm temps last week were nice, but now that the winds are blowing and a chill is in the air, there’s no question what time of year it is.

My FAVORITE time.

Here are some things I plan to do to make the season mean what it should. You can borrow it if you like.

Attend one of our area’s many Holiday musical events. Symphony on Ice, Stefano’s Home for the Holidays, BE Taylor’s Christmas concert. No music reflects the season and settles you into a perfect mood better than holiday songs and Christmas carols.

Give a toy to the Marine’s Toys for Tots. Then write a check to the House of the Carpenter and take a tag or two from one of the Valley’s various Giving Trees. Making someone else’s Christmas brighter is a highlight of the holiday. Doing it for more than one is an extra mitzva.

Get your decorations up early. It relieves the worry about getting them done and gives you more time to enjoy them.

Take the family to dinner. Eat slowly and talk to each other. Drive through the Festival of Lights when you're done.

Go to church. If you attend regularly, add an extra service and if you’re not a churchgoer, give it a try. It will end your year with a different perspective.

On a clear night, stand outside and stare at the sky. Try to imagine what the Wise Men thought when they saw their star.

Say “Merry Christmas” to someone you don’t know and who doesn’t care. Sometimes the offering is as important as the receiving.

Watch a Hallmark Holiday movie. They are sappy, simplistic, moralistic, and predictable. What fun!

Make a list of gifts for your family and friends. Make sure the gifts are very personal and really reflect the person who will get it. If you actually GIVE the gifts, so much the better. But making the list will remind you of your good friends and what makes them special.

On Christmas Eve, read The Night Before Christmas and one of the Christmas gospels. They both sound special on that bright and holy night. Read them out loud.

On Christmas morning, sip your coffee slowly and take all the time you need to open your gifts. These mornings will live in your memory a long time. Make them slowly. But if the kids want to hoop and holler and hurry up, that’s OK, too. They’re making memories as well.

I love this time of year.

Merry Christmas!

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