I'll Be Home for Christmas.
Being home for Christmas is strange and amazing all at the same time. Driving through your old stomping grounds, listening to age-old crooner tunes while seeing the familiar-but-bare trees standing upright and frozen can bring you back to a nostalgic place in your heart. Seeing your parent's house completely decked out for the holiday can remind you that life is still going on here, lights are brighter than ever and Christmas magic never really goes away, even though it's boxed up 11 months out of the year. I am home in Georgia for Christmas, and this morning, over my steaming cup of green tea, I am staring at the twinkling tree and soaking in the wonderfulness of where I am.
You Can Count On Me.
Stevie and I share the coming home experience with a lot of glee, because we are from the same town. The same landmarks live in our memories, and so many dear friends and family have enriched those good ol' times with their life and laughter. We wouldn't miss a Christmas in Georgia. It wouldn't be Christmas without my mom begging us to go out caroling like we always used to on the evening of the 24th or my dad reading the story of Jesus on the morning of the 25th. Or my sisters and me making animal sounds to add to the effect of baby Jesus lying in the manger. We rock those theatrics. And every year my Dad is offended, but I think God likes our additions to His story.
Please Have Snow and Mistletoe.
The snow never happens here. Ever. Other than the blizzard of '93, which was a wonderful southern fluke. Snow only exists in my other life, in Boston, where it is possibly snowing this very instant. But in Georgia? All we can count on is the mistletoe. But even then, it's a little weird to kiss under the mistletoe when your dad is watching. Some awkwardness never gets old.
Presents Under the Tree.
The pinnacle of the Christmas morning experience: the presents. Have I mentioned HOW MUCH I love presents? I used to be ashamed of my love for gifts. I used to mask it with a phony Christmas spirit, "Oh, the reason for the season is the spirit of blissful wonderment and the children's dreams and a cheerful heart of sugar plums..." But the truth? I love presents and I don't care who knows it. Opening up a surprise is just SO. MUCH. FUN. I don't know why I love it so much, but I don't hold back my childish ways any longer. My friends and family know about this Achilles Heel and they actually indulge me (I know very, very nice people.)
There are still so many Christmas activities to engage in, now that I am home and solely focused on this holiday. There is still baking to be done, Christmas cards to be sent out, presents to be wrapped and sweet nieces and nephews to be played with. Parties to attend, friends to laugh with and stories to be told. Not only is is Friday, but the fun has just begun!