my favorite time of year. the other night i was driving to church and drove through old milford, and the white christmas lights were already strung on the trees through the downtown part. it was beautiful, and just reminded me that–as much as my boyfriend doesn’t want to admit it–it’s official: the holidays are here!

this stretch from thanksgiving to christmas is hands down my favorite time of year. i wouldn’t go so far as to say that winter is my favorite season because that’s exactly the opposite (give me spring or fall any day), but i get all antsy just thinking about it. i’ve finally gotten to start wearing my coat and scarves. of course i still mutter under my breath at how chilly it’s gotten (albeit not cold enough to start wearing socks, which i hate). soon it will be time to inaugurate the tights and (cute) knitted winter hats!

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and with all that, not to mention the extra excuses for pumpkin pie or even more trips to starbucks, it calls to mind a couple reasons why this is my favorite time of year, that i thought i’d share: for thanksgiving and christmas eve, we celebrate with my mom’s side of the family. these are filled with good food and lounging in front of the tv, while everyone pages through the store circulars, or my aunt tells loud stories, or my cousins bicker about sports or who could beat up who, or my other aunt or my dad run around with a video recorder, documenting all of this. it will be interesting this year, because there will be two newbies added to the cast. this past summer my younger cousin got married and this coming weekend, another will. both are boys and so this adds more girls to the mix (growing up, there were only three of us, versus seven boys).

and another element that’s already begun (you can tell i’m growing up), is that i’ve already started my christmas shopping. that’s one of my other favorite things. i hate forced/obligated shopping because the presents that come from that usually suck and end up being a waste. but getting to find a perfect present that you’re pretty darn sure that someone is going to love? that’s my favorite part. getting gifts for my sister is like that, and is why she’s my favorite to shop for–because i know that i can always pick something out for her that she’ll get excited about. we have a tradition at my house where, on christmas eve, the kids each get to open one present that the others got for them. (in my entrepreneurial youth, this was a tradition i instituted as an attempt to tide over having to wait through another night to open presents. it still lives on today.) and without fail, my sister always chooses a present that i got her.

so if you want to sneak a peek, feel free to dig under my bed, which is where i’ve been storing the gifts until trees and ornaments go up. in the past, i’ve found that if i can get my shopping done earlier, then it makes things feel that much more christmas-y, because rather than feel obligated/stressed about running around and checking things off lists, i have the time to enjoy the season. so we’ll see. for now, i’m just happy there isn’t any snow…yet.

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