I love Christmas!
I usually avoid exclamation points in stories and columns at all costs. Just ask my freelancers. Journalists are kind of snobs about exclamation points.
But Christmas is my favorite holiday and December is my favorite month. The exclamation point is required to emphasize the level of my excitement.
I have a Facebook friend who I’ve never met in person, but will get to meet face-to-face next week. When I posted how much I was looking forward to the meeting, this friend was concerned about the exclamation points on my post, about meeting expectations.
I smiled and explained that I tend to talk in exclamation points. A mutual FB friend confirmed it, using the word “enthusiastic” to describe me.
But I will contain myself to one exclamation point.
Trees and ornaments, cookies and caroling, picking out the perfect gift for friends and family, gathering with family — what’s not to love?
I’ve heard the complaints over the years.
It’s too commercial. It’s too expensive. It causes so much stress.
I’ve felt those things at one time or another. But then something happens to remind me how much I love this time of the year.
I was trying to find a local radio station playing Christmas music on Thursday and couldn’t find one. So I pulled out my iPhone and went to Pandora. I’ve got more than a few Christmas stations programed into Pandora.
There’s something about Christmas music that just makes me happy. I just have to smile. I can’t help myself. I love the pop standards and the songs we sing in church. “We Three Kings,” “Joy to the World,” “Angels We Have Heard on High” and “Hark the Heralds Sing” bring me a peace and joy that heals my heart.
I know there are other people who share my love of the holiday. They smile as we pass each other on the street. They wear Christmas sweaters proudly. They notice my Christmas earrings.
We’re kindred spirits.
And I’m a sucker for Christmas specials, Hallmark Christmas movies and yes, I admit it, all those children’s Christmas shows. You know, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” (my personal fave), “The Little Drummer Boy,” the list goes on an on.
Luckily for me, the Hallmark Channel and ABCFamily offer a flood of options for most of December. The majority of the Hallmark movies are very predictable romances, but they’re fun and oh so Christmas-y. Then there are the classics: “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Miracle on 34th Street” (preferably the 1947 version, but the 1994 one is cute), “White Christmas,” “Holiday Inn” and probably my favorite Christmas movie ever, “The Bishop’s Wife.” Cary Grant, David Niven and Loretta Young — sheer magic on celluloid.
So the next time you feel like a Grinch, spend hour with Rudolph or The Little Drummer Boy or turn on some holiday tunes. Grab a cup of hot chocolate or seasonal tea, let go of the stress and embrace the holiday.
I love Christmas!