I woke up this morning with my favorite Christmas hymn stuck in my head:
Oh, Holy night! The stars are brightly shining! It is the night of our dear Savior's birth.
Christmas is such a special time for me. Being in college is hard because i'm missing out on all of the things my family does together every Christmas. My family has such fun, strong traditions and part of the reason I'm so excited to have a family of my own is to carry the traditions on that I love so much.
After dinner, we used to turn all the lights in the house off, but leave the lights on the Christmas tree switched on. I used to love to turn on Kenny G's Christmas album, lay on the cool leather couch outside the kitchen with a blanket and just relax. The beautiful soprano saxophone is so soothing, and when Christmas comes around there's nothing I love more than turning on a little Kenny G right before I go to bed.
My mom always simmers mulling spices on the stove to make our home smell like Christmas every year. The smell of ground nutmeg, cinnamon, orange, lemon, clove, and bay leaf reminds me of home. On top of the mulling spices, she would make the best soft gingerbread cookies, coined "ginger gems" in our house, and we would make cinnamon applesauce ornaments which both also smell amazing. Nothing else smells like Christmas so perfectly.
Christmas music is always playing in our house- but not just any Christmas music. The oldies. I can't listen to any of that modern Christmas music crap. Every holiday season, I start to crave Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Gene Autry, John Denver, Elvis, Ella Fitzgerald, Andy Williams, The Ray Coniff Singers... you get the idea. There's just one thing I can't stand: The Carpenters Christmas. My mom is in loveeee with the Carpenters but I just can't handle it for whatever reason-so we bond over Transiberian Orchestra instead. It's a good compromise.
Like I mentioned earlier, "Oh, Holy Night" is my favorite Christmas hymn.
My great-uncle Gordon has the most beautiful, deep, rustic singing voice ever. I didn't know this song especially well until one family dinner in the Tri Cities when Gordon sang it to us. There's nothing quite as tender as an old country boy singing a Christmas hymn about the birth of our Savior. He sounds just like Bing Crosby, and it warms my heart to hear this song.
I love Christmas.
What are your family traditions and favorite memories?