Monday, December 12, 2011

13 Things I love About Christmas

It's 13 days before Christmas and here's my list of things I love about Christmas (time, place, and reality not withstanding):
13. The lights -- both tasteful and gaudy. I've been to Plano, Texas during Christmas and people there spent more than my annual salary on lights. They were very nice, but I've also driven through trailer parks where the people had much less money to spend, so they used their imaginations to make the best of what they had. It doesn't take a lot of money to do something extraordinary.
12. Elvis -- I'll Have a Blue Christmas. Never fails to make me want to take a hand full of pain pills and drink a bottle of Red Daggar wine...but I love that song.
11. Black Friday -- You couldn't pay me enough to go near a Walmart on Black Friday, but reading about all the weird stuff that happens during that sale, makes me feel strangely normal (even after reading # 12)
10. Santa hats -- even George Clooney would look goofy in a Santa hat. Whenever I see anyone in a Santa hat it makes me smile. I wore one in the Christmas parade last week and the kids thought I was Santa.
9. Sears catalogs -- When I was a kid, I spent countless hours drooling over a Wish book. My first guitar came out of that catalog.
8. Bubble lights -- again, when we were kids, my mom bought a strand of bubble lights. It took them a while to heat up and bubble like an alka seltzer, but I loved those lights.
7. Christmas movies -- It's a Wonderful Life. Seeing all his friends and neighbors coming to his rescue at the end of the movie makes me weep. I love that show.
6. Firecrackers -- Yes, pyrotechniques was a huge part of Christmas when I was a kid. All my friends started shooting firecrackers on Christmas day and didn't stop until New Years. Go figure.
5. Decorating the Christmas tree. This is a fun event at the Watson household. I look forward to it each year.
4. Christmas cookies -- We always have our nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews over to cook and decorate Christmas cookies. Well actually, Jilda facilitates all the actual work, I usually take pictures, observe, and spend a lot of time smiling.
3. Fruit cake -- I'm not talking about the kind you buy at Sam's, but the kind my mama baked. Hers had fruit like the mass market ones you buy, but she also put in toasted nuts and a lot of other special ingredients. The bottom of her fruit cakes were toasted, but they were also sugary and caramelized which  boosted them to another level of scrumptious that was unattainable by the big boys.
2. Friends at Christmas -- often we see friends at Christmas that we haven't seen in while.
1. Christmas dinner -- At Ruby and Sharkey's house. Ruby and Sharkey were Jilda's parents. In 1968 when we first starte dating, I was 17 and she was 16. I was welcomed into their home that Christmas, but her daddy kept his best eye on me.
Her folks knew how to do Christmas up right. The presents were always secondary there. The focus was on family and food.
These are my 13 things I love about Christmas, what are some of yours?


  1. Watching little kids in a church Christmas program.

  2. Bubble lights-- I remember those!
    Actually, I think you can still buy them online.

  3. Anonymous10:15 PM

    great list, that fruit cake sounds wonderful!
    I love putting up the tree, sitting sipping tea after filling the stockings, having everyone together for Christmas dinner, like your wifes family the gifts were not the main focus for us and still are not.

  4. Decorating the Christmas Tree, Midnight Mass on the 24th, and spending the whole day with the family... Can't wait.

  5. I'm with ya, especially on those bubble lights, Sears Wish Book, baked goodies and Christmas movies. Have you ever heard the hilarious Porky Pig version of Blue Christmas? I heard it on the radio several years back and just found it on You Tube:

  6. Christmas Eve when the kids are sleeping and I'm filling the socks with little gifts was always a happy time for me. But really, I love everything about Christmas. Your list is terrific.

  7. Getting out the ornaments and pictures that the girls did years ago and remembering them all :-)

  8. Mulled wine and mulled cider!

    I love christmas lights - the gaudier the better!!

    I love the food too! And the cards. I really like giving and receiving cards. The pressies are a bonus! :-)

    Awwww I feel really chrismassy reading your post! Take care

  9. Clint and I lived in Plano, TX, for almost 8 years until we moved here to Knoxville, TN. Just this morning we were talking about how the Christmas decoration business is BIG business in Plano. Never before had I ever thought anyone would pay to have Christmas lights strung!

  10. Anonymous6:59 AM

    Those are all fantastic things that you listed. I could add two things; my memories of Christmas past, and, that quiet feeling Christmas Eve when the hustle of getting ready stops for a minute, everyone else is in bed, the tree lights are on and a feeling of deep mysterious quiet fills the house. That is my time to sit for a minute in the glow of the lights and experience the magic that is Christmas.

  11. What a great list. I got a kick out of the Sears Catalog entry on your list. I used to give the catalog to the kids when they were little so they could write their letters to Santa. I told them it would help Santa if they would also include the page number and item number. ;) It was very helpful. Now I guess the parents just tell the kids to make up a wish list on Amazon to send to Santa. ;)

  12. Your list brought back many memories for me. I loved the sears catalog...I love, and still have, bubble lights...I loved it when my Dad would grab his guitar and sing Christmas carols for us. He made the day a party! My Mom would bake cookies and hide them in her car because we always would snitch "just one"..with 6 kids, just one makes a batch disappear quick! Those are my fav old things about Christmas I loved..the new list is just as simple....Christmas movies, food and family and going to Chicago to see my Mom...simple but fun!

  13. Oh, the Wish books from Sears and Penney's. How I loved them. I got to pick out some stuff I wanted and my mom would tell Santa and then I'd get some of it. But for some reason Santa brought underwear too, and you'd better believe I never asked for that. Still don't wear it. I also love Christmas cookies, but I'm not baking any this year because I'm still trying to lose weight and nothing, not even being forced to wear panties, can make me give up.


  14. Love those bubble lights! I remember when my grandma's metal tree (with the revolving multi-color light wheel reflecting on it) was covered in bubble lights. They totally fascinated me.

  15. Have you taken a peek at a Sear's catalog lately? They are nothing like they used to be. I used to get so excited about getting the Wish Book in the mail when I was little. Now kids hardly pay a catalog any mind. It's all online.
    I love this list. It makes me smile.


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