Since they insist upon shoving Christmas down our throats starting right after Labor Day, and I've worked retail for the past three and a half years so I'm slightly Grinchy anyway, I've decided to think of some things I actually *like* about Christmas, despite the obnoxious commercialism and the depression and the unrealistic expectations put upon loved ones ;)
*Christmas Lights. When I lived in Michigan, we used to drive over to Grosse Pointe Shores and go up and down the streets looking at the fantastically-decorated mansions. Even when I got older and moved, I enjoyed walking around the neighborhood with my then-husband looking at the lights. These days, I do a "lights run" around the subdivision, which is fun. Maybe next Christmas someone will run with me :)
*A Charlie Brown Christmas. It just never gets old.
*The Nutcracker ballet. Cheesy, I know, but I've loved it since I was a kid. "The Waltz of the Flowers" is my favorite, and the Pas de Deux.
*Certain Christmas movies. The original Miracle on 34th Street. A Christmas Story. And, of course, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. (Did you really expect anything different?)
*Candy canes. I can take or leave Starlight mints, but I can never pass up a candy cane! (A regular old-fashioned one, none of those gross fruity flavored ones...) When our dalmatian Barney was still with us, we could only hang candy canes on the top half of our tree because he would take them off and eat them, wrapper and all. Freshest dog breath in town :)
*Homemade sugar cookies. I make awesome ones, super-thin and crispy. If you want to try them for yourself, let me know; I'll make ya a batch ;)
*Wearing my holly barrettes. They jingle.
*Some Christmas music. I inexplicably love "Jingle Bell Rock." "Blue Christmas." "Mele Kalikimaka." Gary Allan's version of "Please Come Home For Christmas." Harry Connick Jr.'s Christmas CDs. And, of course, Jeff Foxworthy's "Redneck Twelve Days of Christmas" (Twelve pack of Bud, eleven rasslin' tickets, tin of Copenhagen, nine years probation...)
*Eggnog milkshakes from Steak 'n Shake.
*Watching someone open that one perfect gift. I screwed myself last year by giving my mom tickets to George Strait. I can never top that. But she loved it, so it was awesome.