If you have children, this really is the most wonderful time of the year.

Christmas is my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving is a close second, and I’m a real sap for everything the holiday season brings. I love listening to Christmas music so much so that from Nov. 27 (not a day sooner) through Jan. 1, I keep the car radio tuned to one of those 24/7 Christmas music stations.

I am a very big stickler about enjoying my festivus one holiday at a time and there is no overlapping in my book. I will eat my treats on Halloween, my turkey on Thanksgiving and all things peppermint and jolly for Christmas. For me, the holiday season is steeped in tradition and part of the fun for me going forward will be passing them on and starting new traditions with my own family. I think I will draw a line at that elf, though — kinda gives me the creeps.

There is just something so magical about the look in a child’s eyes this time of year. Even if meeting Santa doesn’t go over well, watching a child experience the season warms my soul and makes my heart happy. I put a lot of effort into my holiday cards — this year they will be complete with a cheesy letter and family photo, as they will be our first as a family of four.

How could I forget my favorite tradition of all: Christmas jammies! My husband doesn’t know this yet, but I got us all matching pairs. It may take a lot of begging, but I will get that photo of all of us, donning our matching pjs, in front of our first family tree.

Say a prayer for me!

Since our Christmas tree is our home’s focal point for a few weeks, one of my favorite things to do is decorate the tree. It takes me forever because I savor each memory the ornaments bring — the two “Baby’s First Christmas” ornaments that I will hang this year; all the ugly yet beloved homemade ornaments I made as a kid; and all of the souvenir ornaments from our trips and Army travels. I cannot wait until the twins are old enough to help deck the halls, and by that I mean when the day comes I don’t have to baby gate everything.

I have fond childhood memories of my father using colorful language while he wrestled with the lights and assembled the plastic tree. No matter how much belly aching my siblings and I did when it came down to schlepping all the boxes up and down the stairs and meticulously unwrapping and later rewrapping everything, trimming the tree signified the start of the Christmas season.

What I am looking forward to most is when the house is all decorated, and the music is playing in the background and I’m in the kitchen, wearing my Chritsmas jammies of course, baking cookies with my kiddos — even if they are just watching this go around. The kitchen was the epicenter of my home growing up and I hope to instill the love of cooking and togetherness with my crew.

You see, I take those notions of the holidays being about light and hope, fond memories and the belief in magic very seriously. It’s the one time of the year when it seems a little easier for all of us to get it right.

We can be, and often are, kinder, more generous and happier this time of the year. However, with all the merriment comes its fair share of stress, but I really don’t mind being kept on hold if I can jam out to some Mariah Carey Christmas tunes. For this reason, I like to let the holidays linger. You won’t see my Christmas tree out on the curb on New Year’s Day. I will leave our tree and most of our decor up through January. After all, what is the hurry? Can’t the new year start off with a little more cheer?

Contact Vanessa Lynch at vlynch@kdhnews.com or 254-501-7567.

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