Christmas is my favorite holiday.
Yes, it is way too commercial. Yes, the season begins too early (according to retailers, the Christmas season begins before October 31st, never mind that 'other' holiday featuring turkey and thanks). Yes, there is too much to do, too much to plan, too much to buy.
Oh, but I love it so.
I love the lights on our Christmas tree. and I love looking at the decorated houses, even the tacky ones (but could you just wait until after Thanksgiving before hitting the switch? Please???).
I love the taste of peppermint and eggnog (although not together), the smell of evergreen, the sound of bells and Christmas music, the look on kids' faces as they approach the big man in red.
We are not traditionally religious, but I love the Christian story of Jesus and the Jewish story of the Miracle of Light. We are not Dutch, but we celebrate the arrival of Sinterklaas. There are probably a dozen other customs we've borrowed from other faiths or countries at one time or another.
This year, for the first time, we are 'adopting' our own family who needs a little help from a 'Secret Santa'---we've bought gifts for needy families for years, but this is the first year we've adopted our own totally. I think this may be my favorite new tradition.
So, while I will groan at the lack of parking spaces, wring my hands when UPS hasn't delivered something, curse my lack of cookie-decorating skills and cry at every sappy Christmas commercial or program, my heart will be jumping for joy. Christmas is here!