It’s the most wonderful time of the year

Holiday parties are in full swing, Christmas baking has taken place, gifts have been bought, wrapped in pretty paper and topped with bows and are sitting under the tree waiting to be opened and now the gathering of family and friends begins.

This is truly my favourite time of year. I love all of the hustle and bustle. I love watching everyone get into the spirit of the holidays. I love entertaining and hosting get-togethers. I love those popular little red holiday coffee cups. I love searching for the perfect gifts for my loved ones. But most of all I love spending time with my family. There really is nothing better than that to me.

Each and every Christmas is special to me, but this year will be even more so because it will be my husband’s and my first “merried” Christmas. Of course this doesn’t really change anything or any traditions we have already started, but there is a different feel in the air – and a good one at that.

One of my favourite things about Christmas is seeing the excitement of our nieces and nephew during the holiday season.

We are lucky enough to be a proud aunt and uncle to three extraordinary munchkins. Since they came into our lives, Christmastime is so much fun. To see the magic of the season through their eyes is something that can’t be described. It really gives Christmas a deeper meaning for our families. Seeing their excitement also brings out the child in all of us as well and it’s so fun to discover new things about Christmas with them.

Just last week I was teaching my niece, who is nearly two years old, about what she will leave for Santa on Christmas Eve. “Milk and cookies,” I told her. She repeated the words every time I said them with more and more excitement, not yet understanding the concept. But that is how it starts and every year her enthusiasm will grow as she understands and learns more. The years keep getting better and better.

During Christmastime I love walking around our neighbourhood and looking at lights and seeing our neighbours’ houses all decked out in festiveness. My favourite decoration of all is seeing the Christmas tree in the front window of a home, glowing into the street. That to me is one of the pictures of Christmas and it makes a home look so warm and inviting.

I also love listening to Christmas carols – old and new. I often crank up the radio at home when I’m baking or cleaning. It really gets me into the spirit of the season.

This year, my mom, my in-laws and I went to the production Home for Christmas at the Deer Park Alliance Church. It was filled with many of my favourite carols, a few new ones that I hadn’t heard and a meaningful message.

We have gone to the Singing Christmas Tree there for years and this year the church put on this play instead. I love that there is always a message in the production each year and that message is what the true meaning of Christmas is – the birth of Jesus Christ.

Yes, it is easy to lose sight of that when you’re fighting for a parking spot at the mall, rushing around getting those last minute gifts, or indulging in a few too many treats – but the annual production at Deer Park Alliance Church is always a really good reminder of the true meaning for me as even I admit sometimes that I have stop and think about it in the midst of everything.

Before we know it Christmas will have come and gone. It’s so important to cherish time with our family and friends and make new memories we can reflect back on in future years. After all, this is really what life is all about.

efawcett@reddeerexpress.com

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