Let the Christmas Countdown Begin!

Paulina Maczuga, Features Editor

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The most anticipated holiday is finally upon us! At last, the warmest season is here to save us from one of the coldest months. Forget about all the stuffy noses and coughs; the festive joy is what’s really contagious. There’s absolutely nothing I love more than this jolly and joyful time of the year. Since there are twelve days before Christmas Day, there’s no  better time than the season of giving to share my twelve favorite things about the Christmas Season. In no particular order, here’s what will always bring a smile to my face:

1.) Twinkly Lights

There’s something so magical when a neighborhood is lit up with the soft glow of Christmas lights. Everything looks so cozy and merry, and I love driving around on a December night just looking at all the decorations. All the festivities and holiday traditions bring small communities even closer together.

2.) Holiday Spirit

If you ask me, Christmas is the utmost best time of the year. The holidays always bring an extra bounce to your step and just all around happiness. Plus, just think about how you can dress your pet in festive little costumes- like how these fluffy guinea pigs are decked out.

3.) Family & Tradition

Every Christmas Eve, my family and I will wait until the first star appears in the sky to start feasting on a dinner of twelve vegetarian courses. There’s also an empty chair at the dining table to honor our Polish tradition. Taking part in my heritage is a special part of the Christmas Season, and I love seeing other families and friends observe their cultural ties.

4.) Baking

Whether it’s mixing the batter or decorating the cookies, baking brings families and goodies to the kitchen. Everyone contributes to a plate of sweet treats for Santa (or maybe just for their own sweet tooth).

5.) Fuzzy Socks

Technically, fuzzy socks can be worn year-round… But, nothing can beat wrapping yourself in a blanket with fuzzy socks warming your toes and a cup of hot cocoa warming your hands.

6.) Snow Flurries (and Snow Days!)

It’s always a beautiful moment when it starts to snow outside; the whole world around you turns into a mini snow globe. Now, shoveling a driveway in negative degrees is far from enjoyable… But, building Frosty the snowman or a snow fortress, having a snowball fight, or watching the snow sprinkle all the trees and rooftops is what makes winter worth it. And hey, without those freezing temperatures, we wouldn’t have snow days, and who doesn’t like sleeping in on a day off from school?

7.) Christmas Couture

From grandma’s old knitting days to the classic gift exchange, there’s bound to be an occasion when you can wear your ugly Christmas sweater with pride. It’s that time of the year when you can laugh at and appreciate a festive fashion disaster of wacky woolen sweaters and cardigans.

8.) Holiday Decor

Whether it be the Chicago Christmas Tree, ZooLights, or Winter Wonderfest at Navy Pier, there are tons of places where you can admire a true Christmas masterpiece. Perhaps your favorite place is right at home: putting up wreaths, hanging the ornaments on the Christmas tree, and reminiscing on all the memories of past Decembers filled with trimming, trinkets, and tinsel.

9.) Christmas Movies

The month of December is devoted to holiday movies, so that means ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas and Hallmark Channel’s heartwarming pictures. From Buddy the Elf to The Grinch, there’s always a moment of laughter and a time to remember that Christmas doesn’t come from a store, for Christmas means just a little bit more.

10.) Christmas Songs

Even though I’ve never seen a partridge in a pear tree or gotten a hippopotamus for Christmas, I’ll sing my heart out to the countless Christmas tunes. When I’m on the road or snug at home wrapping gifts, it always lifts the mood when I turn on a Michael Búble Christmas C.D. Thanks to 93.9 MY F.M.’s Christmas station, I can have a Holly Jolly Christmas while Rockin around the Christmas Tree.

11.) Gingerbread House Building

It’s no surprise that crafting a tiny house out of candy and frosting makes for a fun-loving holiday tradition. There are so many creative ideas and little details that make up your own Christmas craft.

12.) WINTER BREAK

After weeks and weeks and weeks of studying, salvation is upon us!!! Coming home and celebrating the holidays with family is what I always look forward to. To slow down and enjoy the season for two glorious weeks is one gift I most definitely will not return.

To wrap things up (I also do enjoy a good holiday pun), Christmas is more than stuffed stockings and shiny packages. All the little things I love combine to form one great season of love and thanks. It’s a time for Alleluia and angels and blessings and bells; it’s a time for cards, candles, carols, for care, charity, and chimneys. It’s a time for Kris Kringle and his reindeer and for the Nutcracker, and it’s a time for gatherings, guests, and reunions. It’s when prayers, miracles, and wishes come to life and when faith brings you to Wise Men and Shepherds. Noel is a time when our cheeks are nice and rosy and when we’re comfy and cozy. So whether you’re one or ninety two, I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, and I remind you to always believe in the magic of the season.

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