1. Growing up, I never really got too excited about Thanksgiving. This might be partly due to the fact that I grew up in Canada and Thanksgiving occurs in the middle of October. Therefore, it might have gotten overshadowed by Halloween. Ever since moving to the United States however, Thanksgiving has come to mean a special day to spend with family and friends, and to enjoy each other's company. I look forward to it every year now. Plus, the turkey tastes darn pretty good. One gripe though - why do Americans eat Thanksgiving "dinner" so early, like 3pm? I'll never understand it.
2. Anticipating Christmas is almost better than the actual day itself. That's why I love Advent calendars. Starting December 1st, I eagerly open that first window and let that choclate melt slowly in my mouth. Sometimes I get the "cheap" chocolate calendar; other years I'll go all out and indulge in the gourmet chocolate. One year I got one from the Sanrio store (think Hello Kitty) and that was filled with adorable little gifts each day. No matter what calendar I choose to get, this is one of my favorite traditions.
3. Something we always did growing up was Christmas Crackers, a British tradition. We would crack them open at dinnertime, and delight over the little prizes inside. They were always the same: a paper hat, a joke and a small trinket or toy. My husband had never heard of them before, but I'm seeing them more readily available in the States now. This is something that I would like to keep doing every year.
4. My husband has a fun little tradition that he does. Every year on June 25th, he plays Christmas music at work and gives Christmas cards to his co-workers. He calls it Half-way to Christmas Day Day (yes, the second Day was written on purpose.) It keeps the spirit of the season alive and puts everyone in a good mood.
5. Decorating the Christmas tree is always magical. Whenever we go on a trip we try and find an ornament with the name of the place written on it. Then when we decorate the tree we can look back and remember where we've been. I love to decorate while listening to O Christmas Tree, my favorite carol.
6. When we were little, my mom would read The Night Before Christmas to me and my sister on Christmas Eve. Nobody else could read it like her, and even as a teenager I couldn't go to bed until she had read it to me.
7. The best animated Christmas video is Disney's "The Small One." My husband introduced it to me. We watch it every year and choke up at the end. It's hard to find, but you can get it on a DVD here along with "Pluto's Christmas Tree" and "Mickey's Christmas Carol" (which is also great.)
If anyone out there wants to write seven things about themselves (holiday related or not), please do so! I'd love to learn more about you.