We are well into December, which means only one thing. CHRISTMAS. I was thinking lately how different Christmas is as an adult compared to when I was a child. Different things have a different meaning now. It’s no longer a magical time where you get some time off of school, see different relatives and open a bunch of gifts.
Now, Christmas is dealing with snow and icy roads. Trying to figure out how to split times between different sides of the family. Trying to buy gifts for everyone on your list, without going over budget. Trying not to overindulge on all of the holiday treats. It’s definitely not the magical time that it once was, but there are things about this season that I still really love, and it doesn’t feel like Christmas without them.
I love movies like Elf and Home Alone as much as the next person, but those aren’t the movies that I’m referring to here. I’m talking about the ones that are made for TV and found on Lifetime, and channels like that. Most follow the same general storyline and they are usually *slightly* cheesy, but who can say ‘no’ to a feel-good movie surrounding the holidays? I’ve got about 10 on our DVR right now and that’s not including all the ones I have already watched.
I’m not much of a mall shopper. In fact, I could go into a store and not find one thing that I like, but if I look at that store online I will likely have a full shopping cart! Due to that, I mostly just go to the mall to return things I have bought online or to get a haircut. I love the mall at Christmas though. Stepping out of the cold, seeing Christmas decorations everywhere and hearing Christmas music play just feels magical. As long as I’m not in a rush to purchase something, or have to stand in any of the long lineups, I thoroughly enjoy the feeling. Even just sitting in the food court or on a bench and people watching can be a great way to spend some time.
It’s funny, I remember getting fairly bored as a child when we would drive around and look at Christmas lights. There would be the odd house that would ‘wow’ me and got my interest, but generally, it was just a waste of time to drive around like that. Now, I totally love it. There is one house in Saskatoon that uses over 50,000 LED lights and all sorts of characters that is timed to music on a special radio station. There are some streets that do themes, though not as much as before. Brown Crescent has Charlie Brown characters or Murphy Crescent with their Smurfs. We also found a few houses that had flamingos with a tropical theme! This is definitely a tradition I look forward to each year.
There are a few foods that I will ALWAYS associate with Christmas. The biggest one is probably Christmas oranges. I recently found out that this concept is largely just Canadian, so for those non-Canadian readers of mine, Christmas oranges are small mandarin oranges that come in a box. They are only available this time of year. They are also individually wrapped in white or green paper, which is great for discarding the peels. I remember always getting them, along with some candy and peanuts in the shell, in treat bags after the Christmas performance at church. Seeing these at the grocery store is always the first sign that Christmas is near.
Another favourite treat is the Hickory Farm Mini-melts. These are SO good, and only make an appearance around this time. Honourable mention also goes to seashell shaped chocolates, peppernuts and of course popcorn in a tin. Oh, and don’t forget about the Advent calendar. (I made my own this year, find out more about that here!)
These are just some of the things that get me in a Christmas mood each year. What do you look most forward to? Do you have any favourite traditions that instantly make it feel like Christmas?
I’m participating in a holiday link-up through Shea Lennon. See more holiday related posts there!