Christmas LOVE!

I love Christmas. Okay, that's probably even an understatement! I'm obsessed with Christmas! It's my absolute favorite time of year and it's what I look forward to every single year - beginning New Year's Day! {you think I'm kidding. I'm totally not.}

So what exactly is it that I love about this time of year? Well, I think it's time to share! And to do that, I'm linking up with A Beautiful Exchange for The Girl Between the Lines! Lo and behold, today's topic: 

"Your favorite things about the holiday season." 

I'm really, really close with my family. Seriously, every time I go home to visit just for a random weekend, it's like a family reunion. We love each other and we all love getting together for some crazy, random fun! However, it's even better at Christmastime. Christmas just brings a sense of unity and happiness, and when you add an already tight-knit family, it's pretty phenomenal! As a newlywed, I look forward to creating new traditions with my little family {Colten, Ace, and I} and any children we may or may not be blessed with in the future. I hope to instill in them the true meaning of Christmas, and I pray that they too will come to love this holiday. 

Most importantly, I love the meaning of Christmas - the birth of Jesus Christ! Seriously, what better time of year is there than to celebrate the birth of our Savior? I can't think of one. I strive every single day to live according to God's will, and I love celebrating His son's birthday. It's a time when Jesus is glorified, and he is the center of this entire season. It's the time when everyone remembers the true meaning of Christmas. Everyone is spreading God's Word and reveling in His glory. It's truly miraculous. 

I honestly cannot remember a single Christmas that doesn't revolve around family and joy. Or without a single one of my grandparents. We used to celebrate Christmas on my mom's side of the family on Christmas Eve at my grandma's house in town. She's honestly the strongest woman I've ever known. But I loved those Christmases. She would have her small tree up on a box so it would be taller and leave more room for gifts. We'd all huddle around her small living room and one by one, we'd take turns opening presents. The smile on her face being surrounded by family at Christmas is something that I'll absolutely never forget. The same holds true for my dad's side of the family. We'd celebrate religiously on Christmas Day in the late morning, after church. I just loved all of the vintage decorations that my grandma would put out, and her always unique, tiny Christmas tree. Just walking into that house on Christmas Day brought a smile on my face. They loved having everyone together, celebrating Jesus' birth. 

I also remember always, always celebrating with my immediate family - my parents, brother, and sister. We would never go without being sure to celebrate as a family. I have countless memories of sheer joy and happiness when I think back upon my childhood Christmases with my family. We always spent quality time together, and we loved it. Recently, it's as if everyone is being pulled in different directions, now that I'm married and Josh has his girlfriend's family to visit - now, it's 'hurry up and open gifts and leave', or so it seems. So, this year, we're changing that. We are dedicating our time with family to the celebration of Christmas and to spend quality time together once again. Technology will be put aside, and we are going to truly enjoy each other's presence and be thankful for each other. I'm super excited! 

This year will be the first year celebrating Christmas without any grandparents - and I'm honestly pretty nervous about it. It'll be my first 'memory' of a Christmas celebration without any of them... I'm sad just thinking about it. But, I will smile as we all come together, even in their physical absence, knowing they will be looking down on us. I will relish all of my Christmas memories that I've had the blessing of experiencing over my lifetime. It'll be hard, but I know they are all in a better place and I will see them again one day. 

I'm obsessed with Christmas lights. I love putting them up in my home, looking at them, driving through the community to look at all of the other lights, and just everything about them! We grew up in the country, but we'd always drive through town to look at the Christmas lights. I love the glow of the lights and the way it reminds me of Christmas. Seriously, what other time is it socially acceptable to have lights up all over the place? It's great! 

The picture above is from last year's Trail of Lights in Austin. It's a big deal, year after year, and after attending last year, I know why! It's miles and miles of lighted displays celebrating Christmas! I'll have to write up an entire post dedicated just to this event {as I'm really hoping we'll go again this year!}. We also have lots of lights in our home this year, but you'll have to wait until tomorrow to check that out! So be sure to check back tomorrow! 

I'm just going to be honest here {it's my blog, anyway} and say that I began listening to Christmas music before Thanksgiving this year! That's right, I'm THAT girl! And proud of it! I don't know if it's because we get to listen to songs that have been put away for the past 11 months or what, but I just love Christmas music! Recently at work, I've been listening to Christmas jazz instrumentals - it's truly amazing! I'd definitely recommend it if you're looking for a soothing, relaxing Christmas tune or two. Here's my all-time favorite: 

I'd be lying if I said I didn't look forward to all of the Christmas movies that come out this time of year! They're all fun, flirty, and all-around happy, for lack of a better word. I always look forward to ABCFamily's '25 Days of Christmas' - I'm just a kid at heart when it comes down to it! I also turn to the Hallmark channel and the Lifetime Movie Network for fun, more 'adult' Christmas films. I watched several this past weekend and it just filled my heart with joy. Seriously - movies surrounded by my favorite time of year? Yes please! Be on the lookout for my Christmas movie list, coming soon! 

So, the above picture typically sums up a Texas Christmas - to the T! Howdy there, sandman! I'm anxious to see what exactly the weather will be this Christmas. In short, the weather surrounding Christmas in Texas is not what you'd think of when you think 'Christmas'. While it's mostly hot, hot, hot, we do get the occasional weekly winter where it cools down and gets downright cold. This week is an example of that. Instead of the usual 80 degree temps, it's been in the 30's all week long! That's right, I've been a happy, happy girl! I love cold weather, so the holidays makes my heart soar with the dropping temperatures and drizzling rain. Although we rarely get snow, it's been known to happen on occasion. The last 'snow storm' was in February 2010. See? Proof! 

You bet we went out and played in that stuff! It was a great "snow day", even though you can tell there wasn't all that much snow. It melted pretty fast! I could go for another snow day - bring it on mother nature! This girl is READY

So, that about sums it up! It turns out, a shorter response would have been, what don't you like about the holidays? ;) I apparently have a lot of favorites! I told you...

Girl Between the Lines Link up


Rachel S said...

I think we are twins..we both love the same stuff!

Donna said...

Visiting from the link up! I love how much you love Christmas! Reading through your post made me smile! :)

Haley said...

I love all of those things about Christmas too! I love thinking back on family memories. It's funny how we don't know we're having those moments as kids.. Then it becomes impossible to relive those times and then we really realize that .. those were some of the best of times..!

I love Christmas for making me feel all sentimental and mushy about my peeps.

Lauren @ The Albrechts Blog said...

You pretty much covered it all :) Christmas music and lights are some of my FAVORITE parts... I think they just make the season and carry the holiday spirit! :) Thanks for linking up with us! :)

Megan @ Grad Student Needs Hobby said...

Visiting from the linkup! I love the idea of Christmas jazz instrumentals; I'll have to find some for the season! Also you have such wonderful pictures and images for this post. It feels so festive!
My friend posted the OCD image on my facebook wall; I've definitely been accused of being obsessed!!

Hayley! said...

I just love this post! I also really love the memories of my Grandma's tree and how she still hoards all of the "ornaments" that we have made her throughout the year. I still get to celebrate Christmas with all of my Grandmothers and your post reminds me to cherish these years! I also love Christmas movies. My favorites are A Christmas Story and the Griswold's! :) Thanks for linking up!

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