snow-man-decorations-for-christmasTis the season for the glow of gleaming lights and presents piled under the Christmas tree.

The smell of frost fills the air, and quiet snowfalls make those inside their homes feel all warm and cozy while nestled in their beds. The holiday season is different for all of us, but I wanted to share what it means to me.

For many Christmases, I’ve enjoyed the company of family and friends as we gather around the fireplace and open presents.

The kids are around the Christmas tree in typical U-formation, all eager to rip into the wrapping paper like an adorable pack of wolves. It brings back memories of when I was a kid. I would wake up early every Christmas morning to see what Santa had brought me. Despite the fact that I’d been good all year (or at least the two weeks leading up to Christmas), I still worried that I’d get a lump of coal.

Sharing the joy of the holidays with my children is the main highlight of the season, yep this is one of the joys to be a parent, but I have to admit that food is a close second.

Christmas cookies, candies, chocolate Hershey’s kisses and all sorts of mouth-watering cheer flood my kitchen counters with calorie-filled delights. It’s widely believed in my family that if you don’t gain a few pounds over the holidays, you really haven’t enjoyed yourself. The pies. Oh, the pies! Pecan, caramel apple, pumpkin… I could go on and on. Blackberry is a particular favorite of mine.

Although I make it my mission to send out Christmas cards to extended family, I find that seeing them in person is my greatest Christmas wish. Aunts and uncles that live far away are absent at my Christmas table. With holiday travel prices, who can blame them? The ones that do come are nothing short of a blessing. Sure, we have the occasional spat when discussing politics or who has to return the gift that someone else also bought. It doesn’t really matter in the end, though. Just being together is enough to make me sing Deck The Halls!

Speaking of Christmas songs, we’ve decided to forego the traditional tunes and instead play the new Justin Bieber Christmas CD.

Just kidding! The only holiday songs allowed in this house are the ones we sing ourselves.

Well, we do have a soft spot for Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra. We’re old-fashioned like that. Sadly, our kids don’t seem to enjoy the old crooners as much as we do. In the midst of all the cries for iPhones and Playstation 4’s, it’s easy to forget what the holiday season is really about. That’s why I cherish every part of it; every morsel of food, every candid moment captured on camera is a treasure for years to come.

If I had a message for anyone this holiday season, I’d encourage them to find what they love most about the holidays and try to remember the good times all year round. Who says the Christmas spirit has to end after December 25th?