Tilly’s Christmas Countdown

My dream is to someday have a blog/website called “Simply Grateful Christmas.” This blog would be centered entirely around Christmas and the joy it brings all the year through. Yes, I said “all the year through.”

For me Christmas has never been a holiday. It’s a mindset. It’s a way of life. It’s undoubtedly The Most Wonderful Time of the Year — All Year! And practicing this 24/7, 365 is something I think would benefit the entire world. For most however as soon as the tree is put away, the Christmas lights are taken down, and the traditions and activities that consumed you during the holidays are gone for another year, Christmas and the emotions it sparks are replaced by bills and the daily routine.

No, this doesn’t mean you should keep your Christmas tree up all year. No, do not leave your outdoor Christmas lights up all year, your neighbors would probably not appreciate that.  And no, I’m not suggesting you listen to Christmas carols in June (honestly though I do and love them all year long). Sure these things might save a whole lot of time come September/October (yeah, I do start my holiday decorating/planning in September — I’m one of those), or help remind us of the joy that can be had when you open your hearts to the joy of the holiday spirit, but the point of decorating and carols, and so many of the traditions of the holiday season is to enjoy the process.

The process of the holidays is essential to the joy of them. Take decorating for example. In order to appreciate the decorations, I put them up and take them down every year. This is one of those Lessons of Christmas:

Decorating is like welcoming an old friend into your home. Every bulb, every light, every tree, angel, Santa, candle, ribbon, and piece of tinsel sparks the memories that are the foundation of Christmas.

Christmas is full of these Lessons and while some of them can and should only be experienced during whatever length of time you celebrate Christmas, the fulfillment you feel during the holidays, the closeness with family and friends that is revisited, the love that overflows from our hearts for total strangers and our fellow man at Christmas moreso than any other time of year — these lessons, if practiced all year, can help you hold onto the feelings that most people only experience one day, one week, or maybe one month a year, each and every day. Would this get old? Well, does feeling good, happy, loved, and fulfilled ever get old? I rest my case.

Throughout the next 25 days I’m going to share some of the lessons I have experienced/learned through the years along with some of my favorite cookie, candy, and traditional holiday dessert recipes. Maybe you don’t agree with my Christmas Everyday Theory, but I hope you at least take the time to read the stories, maybe try a few tried and true recipes, and join me for at least one month of Holiday Joy. ~ Tilly

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