Finally! I have some Christmas spirit. I knew it would happen . . . it was just a matter of when. So for my Thursday Thirteen, here are the things that have brought out my Christmas spirit. . .
1. I started my Christmas shopping by looking for gifts for my 7 year old nephew and my 4 year old niece. How can you not have Christmas spirit when you are in the toy aisle?
2. Snow, glorious snow. Okay, so it was only an inch of snow that melted a couple of hours after it fell, but it was the pretty white fluffy stuff. There was something about driving through the snow listening to the theme from "A Charlie Brown Christmas" on the radio. Yes, that song is stuck in my head now.
3. Christmas songs on the radio. It annoyed the crap out of me that a couple of the local radio stations started playing Christmas music a week before Thanksgiving and I refused to listen to those stations. But now that it’s December, it’s not so bad hearing them. Especially "I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas" . . . it’s one of my favorites.
4. Hearing "O Holy Night" on the radio for the first time this season. I was in choir during my junior high years. "O Holy Night" was the highlight of our Christmas concert. We started working on it as soon as school started in September. Yes, I know all the words to the first two verses and I still do the Alto part whenever I sing along on the radio. Yes, I am a dork.
5. Seeing the baking displays at the grocery store. As a rule, I don’t like to cook but I love to bake cookies at Christmas. It was a big deal when we were little kids to help Mom bake Christmas cookies. It was an all day event. We got out the cookie cutters for the sugar cookies. We decorated gingerbread men. We filled the kitchen with all kinds of cookies and then Mom would put them in the freezer until Christmas Eve. We were allowed to eat as many cookies as we wanted on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
6. Hubby told me that he had some "errands" to do yesterday on his day off. When I asked him what kind of errands, he mumbled something that I couldn’t hear so I know he was going shopping for my Christmas present. I’ll have to do some snooping later . . . under the pretense of looking for tennis balls for Luci.
7. Checking out the Christmas displays at the various buildings here downtown. There’s the train display, and the refurbished window displays that were always in the window of the large department store here downtown when I was a kid. Oh, yea, and the big tree in the town square . . . .
8. The Hershey’s Kiss Christmas commercial. You know the one where the kisses are bells and play "We Wish You A Merry Christmas"? I just love this commercial and look forward to it every year.
9. The cute dresses for little girls in the store windows. I was at Wal-Mart the other night and cut through the little girls clothing section . . . and there they were. The cute little velvet dresses that little girls wear on Christmas Day. We always got a special dress to wear to Mass on Christmas morning. I even bought one of those beautiful dresses for my oldest granddaughter’s first Christmas . . . she was 3½ months old at the time. She only wore the dress that one day. Hubby and Jr. told me it was a complete waste of money. I didn’t care. She was ADORABLE and it was worth every penny.
10. The Christmas TV specials. I saw the "Here Comes Santa Claus" show the other night. I’m sure the other ones are coming up soon. "The Year Without A Santa Clause", "Frosty The Snowman", "Rudolph" . . . . I watch them every year. Sometimes more than once. But it’s not really Christmas until you see "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and "A Christmas Story" . . . .
11. Getting my first Christmas card of the season. I love getting Christmas cards. I even love getting the little newsletters that some of my friends send along with the card. Oh, and the pictures of the kids. I’ve often thought that I need to send pictures of my "kids" in my cards, but I can’t get them to sit still long enough to take their picture.
12. Getting out the decorations. Oh, boy, do I love decorating the house. Hubby grumbles about this every year. Says there is too much junk out and about and it just clutters up the house. But then he’s the one that buys me something new to add to the collection. It takes me all day to decorate the house and all day to take down the decorations. He really has a fit when I get out my Nativity Set – but that’s because it’s the Little People Nativity Set from Fisher Price. Yes, you read that right. I own the Little People Nativity Set from Fisher Price and I don’t have any children. I bought it because it was cute and I wanted it.
13. Watching my nieces and nephew hanging their stockings at my Mom and Dad’s house. I went to visit the folks Tuesday night and the big event of the night was hanging the stockings. They hang their stockings in the same places that we hung our stockings when we were growing up. There’s just something very comforting about seeing that tradition continue.
Okay . . . now I need some hot chocolate . . .