I love Christmas shopping. It sounds crazy, right? Especially since Josh and I are not exactly at a point where we have tons of money to spend. Most of the year, I hesitate to spend money on anything we don't need. At Christmas, I feel a little justified to spend more than I usually would. The thing is, I really enjoy picking out gifts for people I love. It's important to me that I put thought into gifts, that I know the recipient will really enjoy what I picked out. Sometimes I am so set on finding the perfect gift that I drive myself a little bit crazy. I'm not satisfied picking out something generic! I am proud to say I have successfully found "the perfect gift" for everyone on my list this year. (After Christmas, after everyone opens their presents, maybe I will do a little post on what everyone got & why...)
I also loooooooove Christmas lights. Poor husband hates it, but I like to drag him out to drive around and look at light displays. Growing up, my family always went out to see Christmas lights on Christmas Eve, and when we got back, Santa had come! (We opened presents on Christmas Eve, which is the German tradition.) This year I researched the best light displays in our area, plugged them into my phone, and we went to see them all. I especially love large old fashioned multi-colored lights, and silhouette nativities.
Another thing I really, really, really love about Christmas is the music. I have a playlist on my iPod titled "Happy Birthday Jesus" and I have to force myself to wait until Thanksgiving to start playing it on repeat. This is one of my favorite Christmas songs. My dad always played this for us, along with a German version of "O Christmas Tree". This isn't exactly a classic, and you've probably never heard it before, but give it a listen. I guarantee it'll put a smile on your face!
Since I've gotten older, I've always really learned to enjoy traditional Christmas carols. O Holy Night is my all time favorite, especially this line:
Long lay the world,
in sin and error pining,
till He appeared...
and the soul felt it's worth.
You can't get much closer to the meaning of Christmas than that.