12 Reasons I Love Christmas

I love Christmas. It's my favorite holiday by a long shot; I'm not even sure what holiday comes in second (it's probably Christmas Eve, if I'm being honest). The Christmas season can be difficult for people, and I know that I haven't had perfect Christmases every year. However, with that said, here are 12 Reasons I Love Christmas.

1. People give away cookies and chocolate. I wish cookie platters were a thing year-round. Thankfully, tons of free, homemade snacks and desserts come into my house this time of the year. 

2. Surprises and secrets everywhere! In Little Men, Louisa May Alcott describes Father Bhaer as "obediently shutting eyes, ears, and nose... to all the perfectly transparent mysteries around him." The festivity of keeping the sacredness of presents is fun for me. I'm not a present feeler, but I did spend hours as a kid staring at the tree, trying to guess what might be hiding inside a certain box or another. 

3. The Christmas story. God loves man. God sends Himself down to live with man. There are several sing-song incidents. Really, it's just a beautiful story and it captures everything about my faith in one simple story. In fact, it is the introduction to the centerpiece of the whole of Christianity. It's just beautiful. 

4. Rituals are revered. I love the shutdown power of "it's tradition" at Christmastime. Obviously, I don't like that phrase all year, but there is something fun about getting gum in my stocking every year or about being shot with a Nerf gun at my hanai family's. Rituals are important to my family, and to me, and I love keeping them every year. 

5. Being able to express gift-love to those I care about. I love giving gifts, but not only is my budget fairly tight (can anyone say "student loans"?) but not everyone appreciates receiving random gifts, and I respect that. However, Christmas is the time to go just a little bit wild. 

6. Secret Santa. I will always put my name in that hat. 

7. The people around are family. Whether or not I spend Christmas and the days leading up to it with my biological family, Christmas is a time for familial bonds to come into play. Christmases with friends are Christmases where friend-families are built, if only for an amazingly special moment. 

8. Christmas music. Modern, classic, new, old, whatever. Christmas music plays off-and-on on my iPod all year... but after Thanksgiving... Scrooges be warned. 

9. The news includes more uplifting stories. It's a little thing, but I like that news networks include a few more nice stories near Christmas. 

10. It's a break. I know that I will not have Christmas off once I get out of school, but I'm enjoying Christmas break for as many years as I can! 

11. The willingness to celebrate. I love that people want to celebrate. If this is not you, I'm personally inviting you to spend the Christmas season with me. We don't have to do anything crazy or have a perfect celebration. Celebrating, in and of itself, is perfect. 

12. Love. Christmas is a time when love is allowed to be unabashed. I like that. 

How do you feel about Christmas? Any cool traditions? Let me know in the comments!