I love the holidays. Each year is full of family, friends and the true meaning of Christmas. But I’d like to take a moment to celebrate all of those fabulous things about Christmas that never quite make the list...

1. Elf Yourself: Dress up your family like elves and watch them breakdance? Yes, please. I could happily spend the entire holiday season on the Office Max website, watching my husband do the worm. 
2. Sparkly Things: Lights and tinsel and faux snow glitter, oh my! Griswold got it right, people. Squirrel in the tree or not. 
3. Some Assembly Required: There is no greater thrill than purchasing an outlandish gift for a child, especially when it reads Some Assembly Required. Because the teamwork brought on by this seasonal act – staying up until 5 a.m. sweating, crying and deciding that one piece you forgot really doesn’t matter – feels just like a really good episode of Dancing with the Stars. 
4. Christmas Sweaters: Jackpot. Speaking of…
5. Theme Parties: Cookie baking parties, ornament exchanges, present wrapping parties… the holidays force us to break out the tinsel and find yet another reason to party. 
6. Christmas Cards: Let a choir of angels sing for technology because how awesome are personalized Christmas cards? They are the best. 
7. Christmas Shopping at the Final Hour: Will you let that sweet old lady walk away with the last holiday ornament that reads “Baby’s First Christmas”? Or will you snatch it out of her hands like a pair of lower court tickets to the UK game? Naughty or Nice – final hour holiday shopping is a true test of character. 
8. Holiday Song Lyrics: Granted, hearing Wham! wail, “Last Christmas, I gave you my heart…” is a little like watching Back to the Future III. Or doing a Mensa exercise. Because wasn’t Wham! singing about last Christmas well, last Christmas? It can be confusing, but oh, so catchy.  
9. Grinchy Exchanges: Who wants to battle for some misfit toy that was less than $10 and is probably used/expired/heinous? THIS girl. Because there is nothing more exciting than staring down a stack of unwrapped gifts and grabbing whichever one you want. And if it’s good, someone steals it and you get to do it all over again. 
10. The Gift that Keeps on Giving: Growing up, I would start searching for Christmas presents sometime in August. My parents became experts – like, CIA level, booby-trap experts – at present hiding. I have inherited that skill and as a result, sometimes hide presents so well that even I can’t find them. 
11. Christmas Tree Ice Cream: In your local freezer, somewhere between the Frosty Paws and the Frozen Dots, is a Christmas miracle. I couldn’t even tell you what the pastel ice-cream treat in the shape of a Christmas tree is actually made out of but I will tell you this: even the paper it’s wrapped in tastes like peppermint.
12. Tradition: Tradition makes us do crazy things. Yes, that ornament made out of popsicle sticks will hang on the tree next to the Waterford, because I made it in the second grade. Yes, I will watch Rudolph, A Christmas Story and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation for the hundredth time, because it’s snowing outside. And yes, I will have peppermint bark with an eggnog latte for breakfast because it’s just that time of year.
Merry Christmas, everyone! And to all, a good night.

Posted on -12-01 by Cynthia Ellingsen