My favorite Christmas things...
Smell: Apple cider simmering on the stove.
Tradition: Growing up, my family always opened our home on Christmas Day to people in our church who didn't have family nearby. As soon as our presents were opened and put away, we'd dash around getting dressed and preparing for our guests' arrival. Christmas afternoon was always spent sitting around the table doing puzzles as a group, hymn-singing, and listening to the stories of the people from our church. It was a special way to be there for the lonely members of our congregation.
Flower: Amaryllis. I'm not usually one for bulb flowers, but these are so strong and lovely at the same time. I just think they're so pretty!
Movie: I love "It's a Wonderful Life" (anything with Jimmy, really!) and Little Women (maybe that doesn't count as a Christmas movie? I don't know, but I love watching it at Christmastime!)
Hymn: As With Gladness Men of Old
Memory: When I was little, my family would drive out to Ontario to spend a December evening with my Ami and Papa. We would bundle up and drive to Euclid Street, where historic nativity scenes were displayed every year. We would walk from scene to scene, talking about the Story and enjoying the beautiful detailed, very old statues and pieces of the scenes. From there, we would drive to the neighborhood that always put on a huge Christmas lights show. We'd walk around singing Christmas carols and pointing to our favorite Christmas light displays. At the end of the night, we'd go back to Papa and Ami's house, get in our pajamas, and sit at the dining room table sipping hot chocolate and watching Ami's German Advent wreath candles spin shadows around the room. We'd fall asleep listening to the chime of the grandfather clock while we licked away the remnant stickiness of peppermint from around our mouths.
Easy gift: Chocolate covered pretzels. Favorite thing ever!
Sight: All of our funky little handmade ornaments still hanging proudly from Dad and Mom's tree. Seeing their tree is like a walk down memory lane. I love it!
Dislikes: Department store insanity during December. Even more of a reason to give handmade gifts!