There are two camps- those who love Christmas, and the Grinches.
I love Christmas, but I don’t love some things about the holiday. After venturing into two stores this week, I’ve got a firm list of likes and loathes.
I love a live Christmas tree. We go to the lot (trying to find a day in north Florida that feels more like December than June), and walk around looking for the perfect tree. I love the smell of a fresh Fraser fir, the white lights covering its branches; each ornament shining.
I love Christmas carols. I love the Advent carols at church, and singing the same carols on Christmas Eve that I have sung since I was old enough to remember. I love the catchy Christmas tunes: White Christmas, The Christmas Song, It’s the Holiday Season. There are Christmas albums that take me back to childhood: Jackie Gleason Holiday, Herb Alpert, and Charlie Brown Christmas.
I love decorating the house. My mantel displays my St. Nick collection and below stockings hang. Red berries and white lights transform the rooms into something magical.
I love to bake Christmas cookies. We’ve tried a variety of recipes over the years, but the family staples are peanut butter chocolate chip, regular chocolate chip and shortbread.
I love crisp winter nights, dark, star-filled skies, clear, cool sweater and boots days- which are a real treat in Florida. The weather helps set the Christmas mood.
I loathe over-priced tree lots with trees right out of A Christmas Story. Don’t try to sell me a yellowing, needle dropping fir-tree. And don’t jack up the price.
I loathe bad Christmas music. My ears are assaulted in stores with new pop sensations changing lyrics and putting their own spin on the classics. Yesterday, in two different stores I heard some of the worst Christmas music ever. Definitely spoiled the holiday atmosphere.
I loathe shopping malls, and overcrowded box stores. I was an early adopter shopping online. It was a lifesaver for the parent who became a retail widow every Thanksgiving. I’d rather shop in my pajamas with good Christmas tunes filling the room.
I loathe weird flavored candy canes. I’m a purist. Give me real peppermint.
I loathe the weather in December in Florida. Oh, I know those snowbound and socked in with sub-zero temperatures don’t want to hear me whining about temperatures in the 80’s, but it’s Christmas! Decorating the tree with the A/C running is not going to fill you with holiday spirit. Forget dressing in your favorite sweater and boots on Christmas Eve with temperatures in the low 70’s. And high humidity ruins holiday picture with frizzy and flattened hair.
We watch for a cold front with as much anticipation as waiting for Santa. It looks like it will pass us by again this year.
But don’t despair northern friends, we will get plenty of cold weather- in January.
What do you love and loathe about the holiday?