Christmas Lights

shutterstock_521271277I feel so fortunate to have grown up in a family that has so many wonderful Christmas traditions. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, my parents always made each holiday special, and Christmas was no exception. We have a LOT of decorations, and I love putting them out each year. Many of them have been in our home for as long as I can remember. I especially love Christmas lights. I love the way they light up the house.

Creating Christmas spirit

We have a big “main” tree in the living room, and many other small trees throughout the house. The main tree features many homemade ornaments my siblings and I made as well as my mom’s collection of Hallmark collectible ornaments. I can remember many years where we’d go to Hallmark the day after Christmas to stock up on wrapping paper and new ornaments for the following year. One of my favorite ornaments is of an astronaut. You can push a button and it plays the audio recording of Neil Armstrong’s lunar landing.

We have another tree that is full of Disney ornaments. My family has taken many trips to Walt Disney World and we consider it a second home. We’ve gone during the holiday season several times and enjoy all the special events and special decorations that WDW features.

Along with the twinkling lights, the house is lit with scented candles that we burn all season long. Some smell like evergreen trees, while others smell like Christmas cookies, and even one that claims to smell like snow!

The outside of the house is decorated too. My mom and I spent a few hours hanging lights and garland. We also set up a few inflatables, including Mickey and Minnie in a sleigh. We enjoy seeing all of our neighbors’ homes decorated in addition to our own, but it’s especially exciting now to see my niece and nephew’s reactions – they get so excited to see all the decorations! My dog, on the other hand, barks at all the light up deer and lawn ornaments because she thinks they’re real! 😛

Changing traditions

Like most kids, we always got up super early on Christmas morning. We weren’t allowed downstairs until my mom gave us the go-ahead, but she would deliver our stockings to our bedrooms to open there. We would open presents and then we’d eat a special Christmas tea ring (like a cinnamon roll) and watch the Christmas parade. These days, it’s usually just my mom and brother and I on Christmas mornings, and we do our “big” Christmas gift exchange with my sister and her family on some other day throughout the holidays. I still enjoy Christmas mornings though – we still have tea ring and watch the parade, but now we sleep in a little later and enjoy some mimosas as well.

Goals instead of resolutions

I don’t usually make resolutions, but I do set goals for myself each year. For example, some goals I set in 2016 were to run a sub-30 5k and read 52 books. I ran a 5k in 29:30 in September and have two books left to read by the end of the year! I feel a great sense of accomplishment by achieving goals I’ve set for myself. It’s a different sense of achievement than completing something I “had” to do – like a big project for work (though I’m proud of my work too!).

I try to set a variety of goals – health and wellness, professional development, travel, etc. One goal I set each year that I’ve yet to hit is to win the lottery, but I can say that’s probably true for most of us! Until that happens, I’ll continue collecting my Smart Panel rewards. Happy Holidays, everyone!

One Comment

  1. Christmas lights are a huge tradition in our family also We love the tree packed with beautiful decorations from years gone by. The lights twinkle with joy as presents are wrapped and place under the tree. The entrance to the kitchen and hall into the front room start at the front door. Santa & our lighted snowman hang by the kitchen table. Each room is decorated. Outside the balcony is covered with lights. Between the Windows an all over the wall light up the sidewalk. You can see our lights from the street coming and going for 1/2 mile. We love our lights ad traditions. I cook a huge county breakfast and we open a few gifts. Some of my kids come in their PJ’s. . Around 4:00 is our Chrstmas party at our son- in – law & daughters house. We have 7 kids and 9 grand kids. There are 28 of us every year. Her house is full of lights inside and out. Decorated to the 10’s. I am very blessed to have such a great family to carry on the traditions of my elders who have pass. Merry Christmas and happy new year!

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