Christmas Stories:

            I love them. I've never written one. I treat myself to them as they are a continuous portion of the holidays for me.
            Starting with Thanksgiving, when the lights go up all around. Every main street has lights. My friends and I tour neighborhoods one ‘date’ night in three towns to see the lights.
            Sounds. Laughter. Joy in giggles and oh’s of children. The sounds of a good fire. Music pours from every place with a speaker. My computer, my house, stores, friend’s homes. Oh, just give me a little country singing, some funny songs, and don’t forget those Mannheim Steamroller moments. I sing Christmas carols to myself as I drive to town.
            My birthday is on the twenty-third. Another holiday to celebrate. I do whatever I want to on my birthday. Our family didn't have much in money. We always celebrated birthdays with a present, a cake, and a day of doing whatever we wished—someone else did our chores. When I say as we wished, I mean that no one directed our activities.
The magic of scents of the Season—baking. Ovens dusty from lack of use get warmed up for Christmas. My smoke alarm is off the wall at the moment because I’m tired of everyone’s jokes about using it as a timer. It is really time to clean the sucker, but who has time now? Trees, oh, yum. The smell of Christmas trees everywhere. Dampness. The scent of it as you walk down the sidewalk.
Christmas packages—oh my! Ribbons and bows and yards of paper. I sometimes cluster bows to make a bigger one! Let them STACK! Part of my decorations for Christmas is a batch of permanent present boxes. They have lids and store other decorations when out of season. Right now they’re stacked in a spare chair in the living room over a throw of spangled and beaded cloth. Looks Opulent.
Lights. We don’t do a tree in our house, we do long lengths of lighted greenery and banners and glitter abounds. They top the bookcase, the china hutch, on a beam above the entrance to the kitchen—all different, all similar, all on timers. The flicker candles are all around and on timers too. At our house it is like a light symphony, the lamps come on at five and off at two AM. The candles come on at five and off at midnight. The garlands come on at five thirty and off at eight fifteen.  Except the flicker candles in my bedroom, they go on at eight and off at two AM.
Then there is the wrapping. I wrap while my husband reads me a story. He hates Christmas music, but he will read to me while I wrap.
Cards, those pesky things, they decorate a shelf on the bookcase. I have another holiday for me during the beginning of December. I go to a restaurant, or cafe, and I sit for the afternoon making out my Christmas cards. I have a small case that has everything in it, cards, paper, pens, cartoons for inserting, stamps, stickers, addresses, who got what last year. This holiday I spend eating pie, drinking coffee, talking to people who wonder by. I let go of everything that must be done and sit. Waitresses and their bosses are wonderful. They pamper and fetch. They watch my mess during bathroom breaks.  This year two marines came in and I got to buy them a meal—anonymously—so it was extra fun.
Movies. I have my favorite Christmas movie, Christmas in Connecticut, and I watch it every year! There used to be a lot of groaning about it, but now my husband enjoys it too.
The last holiday of the year—New Years!  A day of hope.
We don’t have family at the Holidays—or rarely. It is a dangerous time to be traveling, not to mention tiring. But we do see each other at other times during the year and hoot it up then.

While it is true, I haven’t written a Christmas story—it looks like I've written a dedication to the holiday season.  So, have yourselves a merry Christmas—however you determine it to be!
 Blessings, Cheer, and Joy to everyone!!