November 4, 2010

50 reasons to love the holiday season!

If you’ve swung by eBay this week you may have noticed that in the upper left hand side of the site, there is a little red number followed by the word “days”. This ticker clock of sorts is there to remind eBay patrons of the number of days left until Christmas.

One could view this as a sigh-worthy reminder of how much the holiday shopping season is thrust down our throats, of the impending deadlines for baking fruitcake, sending out cards, and finding the perfect tree, or – if you’re more of a glass half full sort of soul – you could look upon it as a reason to celebrate, as the days whiz by until the arrival of December 25th.

Today that little countdown number is sitting at 51 – taking Christmas Day itself into account. I tend to countdown special days by marking the days until the “Eve of” something occurs, which got me thinking that there are but fifty days left until Christmas Eve.

I believe in the beauty and spirit of the holiday season. Of joy trumping stress, of giving over getting, making merry, and spreading glad tidings. The realization, on this nippy frost kissed morning, that just fifty more nights of slumber lay between me and Christmas has me giddy as a child.

It also got me pondering some of the reasons why I love the holiday season, in all in incarnations, and before long I had a list going in my mind that would make Old St. Nick himself proud.

Below I’ve gathered fifty simple, time-honoured reasons of my favourite reasons why this everlasting, hopeful, gorgeous, magical season is worth getting excited about and celebrating. I hope that they help fuel your own zeal for winter, Christmas, and all the wonder of this resplendent time of the year!

{Adorable vintage Christmas card image, which I altered, via Pine and Wine on Flickr.} 

1.  Christmas carols sung by my favourite old school crooners (Frank and Dean, I’m looking at you!)

2. Wearing red and green together and not worrying in the least if they clash – I’m just getting in the holiday spirit!

3. Receiving Christmas cards, “year in review” letters, and other postal greetings from friends near and far

4. Temporally turning hot cocoa into a food group all its own

5. Eagerly awaiting enough accumulated snowfall to make a snowman – even if it’s only the size of a child’s toy

6. The soothing feeling of slipping into a delightfully warm house after a night spent playing, walking and/or traveling outdoors

7. Dreaming not about what I may hope to find under the tree, but about what I’m going to give my loved ones

8. Seeing the holiday season through the innocent, blissfully excited eyes of a child

9. The fact that people who may otherwise not do so the rest of the year now smile more readily, forget their woes for a little while, and adopt a cheerier disposition

10. The twinkling splendour of holiday lights. Be they a simple string of fairy lights glowing from within an old canning jar or those adorning a fifty foot tall tree in the centre of town

11. Placing stamps on my holiday cards and sealing them up with festively themed stickers

12. The regal beauty of poinsettias in all of their jolly colours, from Rudolph’s nose red to eggnog hued cream

13. The juicy, sweetly tangy taste and smell of Christmas oranges (and saving their peels to dry and mix with cinnamon sticks and cloves for an old fashioned inspired potpourri mix)

14. The sound of sleigh bells, church bells and tiny jingle bells all adding a certain ageless soundtrack to the season

15. Hitting my favourite thrift shops at a time when most people are flocking en mass to shopping centres and outlet malls, and finding wonderful second hand treasures to give as gifts

16. Handcrafting gifts, cards, decorations – you name it, I’m always up for a little DIY Christmas fun!

17. The honour of having some of the Christmas decorations from my childhood to call my own and to pass along to future generations

18. Reaching all the way down to the toe of my Christmas stocking and finding a hidden goodies waiting there

19. Ice skating on an outdoor rink at night under a glistening blanket of stars

20. Taking my sweaters out of storage and wishing for a moment that every day could feel as cozy and comforting as a snuggly cardigan

21. Blending my Canadian Christmas traditions and with my Italian husband’s European ones, creating in the process our own cherished holiday customs

22. The sense of communal comradery, once so commonplace in our world but now often forgotten much of the time, that emerges each holiday season

23. The varied colour pallet of November and December. From the shivery whites and icicle blues of the outdoor world to the brilliant reds and pine greens of Christmas decorations

24. Standing in the biting cold air and cheering on a local holiday parade

25. Having at least one party or get-together that warrants dressing to the nines in my (vintage) holiday finest

26. The indescribably beautiful smell of a freshly cut Douglas fir tree

27. Remembering to be grateful for all that I have, especially when the year leading up to holidays has been particularly rough, for I am blessed beyond measure to live in a safe country, have a roof over my head, food in my belly, the gift of freedom, and people who love me. I could think of nothing I truly want or need in the world more than those things

28. Belting out Christmas songs – and not feeling self-conscious about my singing – while (in the comfort of my own home) I go about my holiday tasks like trimming the tree and baking cookies

29. Never, ever tiring of watching the classic 1960s Frosty the Snowman and (the stop motion version of) Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer cartoons

30. Nibbling any festive sweet treat or dessert that my mother creates. I swear, this woman could have been a professional pastry chef had she so wanted!

31. Still not being able to fall asleep on Christmas Eve – despite being 26 years old (and hoping that this never changes, no matter how old I get!)

32. The frantic hustle and bustle of the holiday season – well, at least in small does – because it stands as a reminder that this marvellous period of the year is unlike any other

33. Giving of my time and resources however I can to help others have a merrier, safer, happier holiday season

34. Setting out a plate of cookies, a glass of milk, and a dish of carrots (for the reindeer) on Christmas Eve and still secretly hoping that they will have been eaten while I was nestled in my bed (with visions of sugar plums dancing through my head, naturally)

35. Catching snowflakes on my tongue (December snow is definitely the best tasting!)

36. Asking my grandparents to share memories of yesteryear Christmases with me, so that I can one day pass along such recollections to my own family

37. Forgetting the rest of the world exists while I watch White Christmas, my favourite holiday movie of all time, with every bit as much excitement as I did when I was a little girl (I swear, this movie was instrumental in turning me into the vintage loving soul I am today!)

38. Falling asleep feeling chilly and waking up in a blissful tangle of warm blankets that seems too comforting to get up from

39. Savouring the beauty of pale, almost angelic winter sunlight when it streams through my windows, warming my soul and giving the cat an instantaneous new spot to nap

40. Handwriting personal messages on gift tags and Christmas card

41. Getting snowed in and having someone to cuddle up with!

42. The almost primal desire to suddenly cook everything and anything in a big pot that bubbles away gleefully for hours, filling the house with soothing warmth and intoxicating aromas

43. Reading Dickens’ A Christmas Carol aloud each year and never ceasing to be in awe of this incredibly well-crafted, utterly timeless tale

44. Feeling the tears well up in my eyes when Linus wraps his blanket around the foot of the pitiful little tree and all Peanuts characters start singing in A Charlie Brown Christmas

45. Walking in a winter wonderland (while holding mittened hands with my sweetheart)

46. The flickering glow of a candlelight set against a slate grey evening sky of tumbling snow

47. Reconnecting with those people that you may only see in person during the winter holidays

48. Visiting Charismas craft fairs, bake sales, local plays and concerts, and light tours

49. Incorporating my love of vintage into my festive celebrations

50. Fondly remembering holiday seasons past, cherishing this Christmas, and being grateful for those that will come in future years

These reasons are some of the ones that best capture why I adore the magnificence of the holiday season, the joy of counting down to Christmas, and the contentment that comes from celebrating this incomparable time of the year. I would love to hear which of these reasons you call your own as well, and about some of the many others why you love about the holiday season!

Wishing you each the very merriest of holiday countdowns full of all the things you adore most about this beautiful time of the year, sweet friends!


  1. what a wonderful list! I've been lacking the spirit the last 3 years, but this year I'm starting to feel it again :-)

  2. Great post honey! I can't seem to get into the season yet. Maybe it's because it's 90 degrees here??!!! Kori xoxo

  3. Beautiful! You have inspired me to think of a list of my own. It's been a tough time lately and it doesn't hurt to be positive and uplifted at the idea of Christmas.
    Mind you in my house you have me being all excitable Mrs Christmas and my partner being all 'Bah Humbug!'

  4. Can't tell you how excited for the holidays I am this year, mostly b/c I have some vintage xmas decorations plus a vintage skirt with "ornaments" on it. I love red and green together all the time, they are actually compliments on the color wheel so they are "perfect" for each other. Also, conceptually I love red and green during winter b/c they represent what we need to live (blood, plants), thereby inciting our passion for life during these darker and duller months. melina bee

  5. Speaking of #4...I recently came across a s'mores hot chocolate recipe that I can't wait to try!

  6. Great list! Im starting to panic as the days are flying by and I have so much to do *eek, help* LOL! X

  7. Aw, lovely list. This gets me feeling excited!

  8. I tend to be somewhat of a scrooge during most of November and December - but then about a week before Christmas I finally get in the spirit. And that's when I put up my 1960's silver aluminum tree and my little collection of vintage Japan Christmas figurines. They make me happy. :-)

    What a wonderful, inspiring post. Love your blog!