(I wish this was going to be one of those Oprah things and that I'd start yelling, "You get a car! You get a car! You get a car!" Sorry--don't hold your breath! :) )
1. Having my quiet times by the light of the Christmas tree. LOVE this so much I just may leave up the tree all year if only to be able to do this all the time!
2. Taking the Christmas cards each day and, during our dinner prayer, lifting up each family who sent cards that day. It's especially fun this year when both our kids can be in on this.
3. Driving around and seeing all the "Ho-Ho" (the Nelson family term for Christmas lights).
4. When the little kids sing in church this time of year. You're bound to see a child who doesn't sing a word but waves to Mom and Dad the whole time, one who is just waaay too into it, one with stage fright, and--let's be honest--a nose picker. But in all of that, these young ones are singing words of truth, and that is just awesome. And hilarious!
5. Seeing a nativity scene on a front lawn.
6. Advent calendars with something fun to do each day, like "Stay up late watching a Christmas movie." FUN!
7. Speaking of Christmas movies, "The Christmas Story." Fra-jeel-lay! Love it!
8. The fact that even though my kids have already encountered 3 different Santas so far--all who looked absolutely nothing like each other (except for the bright red suit)--by some miracle they still don't question the whole "Santa" deal yet.
9. Hot chocolate topped with whipped cream with crushed up candy canes stirred into it. Ohhhhh myyyyy...
10. Just knowing that even with the Christmas movies and the cocoa and even the Ho-Ho, our hope is in so much more even than our treasured memories and Christmas traditions. And that, by far, is my favorite thing.