- Christmas music: any and all... from Silent Night to Jingle Bells. I enjoy listening. I enjoy singing along (loudly and off-key) even more!
- Peppermint: It's one of those things that for most of the year I can take it or leave it. But once Thanksgiving rolls past, I am suddenly all about the mint... peppermint patties, peppermint mocha, peppermint bark, peppermint cocoa, candy canes... And have you tried the mint M&M's? Yummy!! (A similar thing happens with candy corn in autumn, and jelly beans around Easter - but that's fodder for another post.)
- Christmas lights: this is where more = better in my opinion. No, we don't put them up. But I am so happy others do! I love driving down the road on some after dark errand and spotting Christmas lights up ahead. And one of my favorite family traditions is piling everyone in the car to see the Lake Julian Festival of Lights each year.
- Watching Christmas Specials/Movies: Few things take me right back to my childhood like watching all the animated Christmas shows like Rudolph, Frosty, and of course... the Grinch! I also enjoy the non-animated Christmas movies which are an absolute must for viewing at this time of year: A Christmas Story, Christmas Vacation, and Elf are tops on the list.
- Christmas Cookies: Really? Do I need to say any more?
- Festive holiday wear: I am just going to admit it... I have been rocking the red and green color combo for a few weeks now. And yes.. I own and wear some little jingle bell earrings. And ones shaped like candy canes. Fashion don't? Maybe. But it's only for about a month each year. And it's just so much darn fun! (and no.. this does not include sweaters with Santa, or animals of any type. See: Naughty)
- Salvation Army Bell Ringers: There they stand,exposed to all the elements, ringing that little bell non-stop for hours on end. It would be enough to make me insane. But somehow the ones I pass always seem full of the holiday spirit and wish me a "Merry Christmas" as I walk past - even when I don't stop to drop some change in the bucket.
- Having the Man of the House and the kiddos home for a week: Christmas break. A time of lazy mornings and staying up late. No work. No school. A lovely escape from day to day life for a while.
- Christmas eve service: I don't know what it is about this church service; but I prefer Christmas eve over Christmas morning. Maybe I still have a little Catholic girl in me yet.. longing for some midnight mass.
- Grumpy people: I've already touched on this subject in the entry "A Little Grinch In All of Us", but it bears repeating. Yes, the stores are crowded. Yes, we are all busy and in a hurry. That doesn't give anyone permission to be even more of a Grinch than usual.
- Gingerbread: Just not a fan.
- Those commercials with the kids asking Santa for a car: What does a 10 year old need with a Ford? I just don't get it.
- Unseasonably warm weather: I want to see some snowflakes! I'm not asking for a big ol' snowstorm, but some flurries would be nice. Or a happy little dusting of snow - just enough to give a pretty coating of white to everything.
- Ugly Christmas Sweater parties: and the sweaters which inspired them. There, I said it.
- Being away from my sisters: yes, I know they'll be here a few days after Christmas to visit. But I still miss them on Christmas. I mean, we were together almost every Christmas for the first 21 years of my life. They are as much a part of my early Christmas' as Santa Claus!