Is Christmas just for kids? I say-no way! Christmas is a time of joy for us all. I view it as an all-American holiday that has religious meaning for some but can also be enjoyed for the many other things it represents. No, Christmas is not just for kids! Adult pleasures abound and may be even more wonderful than the magical feeling children have while awaiting Santa Claus.
Here are a few of my favorite reasons to embrace the holidays in a grown up way.
The arrival of the winter solstice:
In the Pacific Northwest, where I live, we celebrate the solstice, because this date just before Christmas opens the way to longer days. My husband and I always enjoy hosting a gathering for friends around this time of year. We ask everyone to bring their favorite foods and wines to share, and friends who are willing to play for the group entertain us around the piano. We all wrap up the evening feeling warm, with a smile on our faces.
Time to enjoy wonderful foods:
I love to cook, and Christmas Eve dinner is one of my favorite meals to plan and prepare. It's become a tradition to make a rich potato dish that's really just sliced potatoes covered in rich cream and baked-I prepare this dish only once a year and savor every decadent bite! Sometimes we have lamb, and other years it's prime rib. This Christmas we'll enjoy a pork roast with the potatoes and lots of other treats, including a decadent dessert. I've also been busy baking cookies and surprising friends and neighbors with a plate of treats still warm from the oven.
Time to express gratitude to friends:
The holiday season is a wonderful time to slow down and enjoy getting together with our favorite people for a meal, a drink, or dessert. It's a time to express appreciation for services done and for friendships, both of which we tend to take for granted during the rest of the year. I got great pleasure from watching our two pet sitters open their cards to find extra holiday cash and seeing the face of my next-door neighbor when I arrived with a plate of treats.
The music is amazing:
I simply adore holiday music. My favorites are Andrea Bocelli and the Three Tenors, and these two CD's are getting worn from being played over and over. There's something quite magical about having a lit tree that smells of the forest as a backdrop for Christmas songs sung in Italian.
So, while the Christmas season can be stressful for many, for so many reasons, it doesn't have to be. Take the steps you need to take to have a relaxing, bright, and warm holiday season!!