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Sunday, December 11, 2011

My Christmas Moment

Every year there is one moment during the Christmas season when I have that "ah ha" moment, and realize this is it...this is the true Christmas experience for me this year. Sometimes it has been baking my grandmother's old fashioned Christmas sugar cookies with my son when he was 3 years old, on a day when it was snowing like crazy outside, but warm and cozy with the smell of Christmas cookies inside. Or sitting by the beautiful real live Christmas tree a few nights before Christmas,with a cup of warm aromatic coffee, and the room dark, except for tree lights and candles, and having a conversation with God about how happy I was at that moment, or decorating the tree with my 3 kids when they were younger, with Christmas carols playing in the background, mugs filled with hot chocolate nearby, and having discussions about their favorite ornaments as they hung them on the tree. This year, my favorite Christmas moment stretched into a whole weekend of preparing the house for Christmas with Chuck.For the first time, instead of picking a tree out of a lot, we actually went to a tree farm together and chose a tree which the owner cut down on the spot. Can't get much fresher than that! We brought it home, and set it up in it's rightful corner. I had some doubts about it being the perfect tree, but since I am not all that picky about Christmas trees, and Chuck really wanted it, this was the one we brought home. After we decorated it with lights, Christmas balls, and some very special ornaments that we have collected over our years together, it seemed to be much more beautiful. Each one that we have reminds us of a special place we have been, or a special experience in our life together. There's the red bell from our trip to Boston to hear the Boston Pops Christmas concert during our first Christmas as a couple, there's the one filled with pink Bermuda sand from our first cruise together, there's one from Essex, CT., a quaint little town we seem to spend a lot of time in, there's a replica of a Cracker Barrel restaurant, a place we love to go eat at, and then browse in the shop afterward. Next we set up our Department 56 Village. We chose Christmas in the City because it reminds Chuck of the city he grew up in. Each year we painstakingly tug the houses out of their Styrofoam boxes, take them out of their plastic bag protectors, and set them up, with figures in front of the appropriate buildings, remembering where we got them, and the one we received as a wedding gift. It is always exciting to put the lights inside them, and then plug them in and all the buildings light up at once. Then there's the Byer's Choice caroler collection that Chuck had started before we were together, and I keep adding to each year. Because when I first met Chuck, he was the director of a singing group I was in, I bought him the conductor with the music stand, and each Christmas he stands in front of the carolers and directs them. We spent a lot of time admiring our hard work over the weekend, just sitting on the couch together when we were sipping wine, and listening to Christmas music, or watching a football game, or a Christmas movie ( yes, great guy that he is Chuck actually occasionally watches Christmas movies with me...what a sweetheart!) Chuck always lights a Yankee Candle with a holiday scent so not only does it look like Christmas in the house, but it smells like it as well. The best part about the weekend was just being together with the sights and smells of Christmas all around us. So last weekend, I drank in the sights and sounds and smells of Christmas, with the man I love, and I found my perfect Christmas moment!

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