With Christmas right around the corner, I thought it was fitting to write about why it has always been my favorite holiday of the year. While I can definitely appreciate holidays like the 4th of July and Thanksgiving, there’s just something magical about Christmas that gives me all the warm, fuzzy feelings.
The Holiday Spirit
It seems like with each passing year as I’ve grown up, the holiday season has started earlier and earlier. This year in particular, as soon as Halloween ended, people were already getting into the holiday spirit. The Christmas trees were put up, lights were strung, and Christmas songs began playing on the radio. While some may think that’s a bit premature, I have no problem with it.
Especially in the midwest where I live, the days become shorter, darker, and colder as we move into November and December. So, I personally love coming home to a lit tree and Christmas decorations around my neighborhood after work to brighten my mood. It’s also a nice reminder that so many fun holiday festivities and traditions await! There’s just something about that holiday spirit that brings so much cheer.
The Joy of Giving
Quite possibly the best part of Christmas is feeling the joy of giving. I’ve always considered myself a giver with both my money and my time and the time around Christmas is no different. There’s just something about giving someone a present and watching their whole face light up with excitement. There’s no greater feeling than giving to those who are less fortunate and seeing the kind of impact you made.
For me in particular, I’ve enjoyed going to a grade school on the north side of Chicago the past few years with my company to bring toys and gifts to the children who typically come from families that are struggling financially. I’ve also enjoyed giving my time to organizations like Feed My Starving Children, where I’ve spent a few Christmas Eves in the past packing meals for the hungry. And last Christmas, in lieu of gifts for myself, I asked my family members instead to donate money to my favorite organization, Misericordia, a developmental home for those with physical and intellectual disabilities. There’s so many possibilities to donate your money and time and I encourage you to find what you’re most passionate about this holiday season and give back!
The Christmas Cards
Christmas cards are a way to not only send holiday greetings and best wishes, but to also share what your family has been up to over the last year. As a child, I would get so excited to see all the Christmas cards that were sent to my house that my parents would tape around our kitchen. It made me so happy to see all the smiling faces of people we knew and loved. I also enjoyed reading the letters that sometimes accompanied the cards where families recapped what accomplishments and exciting times had happened that year. I love that I’ve kept this tradition alive in my own home in taping all the cards we receive around our kitchen.
I’ve also made it a point to send Christmas cards myself to my family and friends every year since Adam and I got engaged. My hope is to spread some of that Christmas cheer and make my loved ones feel the same feelings I’ve always felt when receiving their cards.
The Quality Time
Is there any better feeling of quality time than around the holiday season? For me personally, there really isn’t. I feel so at peace when I’m surrounded in a room with people I care about. I love the quality time with my family, friends, and co-workers at things like holiday gatherings and parties. It’s a special time where people can get together, reconnect, and enjoy themselves without the distractions of work and technology.
As mentioned in this post, I also like the opportunity to stay home and curl by the fire and just relax. The holidays can get overwhelming at times, and it’s nice to take some time for yourself as well during the holidays.
How could I not bring up the food?! The food at Christmas is undoubtedly the best. For mine and Adam’s families at least, it includes Thanksgiving comfort food, but better. From the cheesy potatoes and green bean casserole to the holiday pies and Christmas cookies, my mouth’s watering just thinking about it all! One of my favorite parts about Christmas is baking sugar cookies and making fudge with my mom and sister.
I’ve already mentioned it, but parties are one of the things I look forward to each holiday season as it gives me something to look forward to. I’ve always enjoyed a good holiday party to let loose with my co-workers and celebrate the past year of hard work and dedication. And you can’t forget ugly Christmas sweater parties! Being able to have fun and be goofy during the holidays is just another reason why I love this time of year.
Let’s not forget about the amazing shopping deals this time of the year! I love a good deal and I’m always bound to find some of the best around the holidays. And despite the crowds and long lines, I do enjoy going into stores around Christmastime. For me, there’s just something special about walking downtown amongst the lights and holiday decor and feeling the Christmas cheer!
Kelly Nash is a Chicago-based writer, career coach, speaker and founder of Lipstick & Ink®. She also works full-time in technology as a Success Manager at Salesforce and has over 10 years of digital marketing experience. Kelly has been featured in Thrive Global, Chicago Tribune, International Association of Women, General Assembly, Salesforce, and SheFactor. She’s fueled by black coffee, sunshine, a good ink pen, and a bold lip.