Candy canes. I mean, they're EDIBLE TREE DECORATIONS. So if I have a hankering for peppermint, it's like, "Oh, look, let me choose from my CANDY TREE." (If only candy grew on trees, but for a couple weeks, I can pretend.)
A real Christmas tree, that makes my living room smell all pine-y, and pine-y is the scent of happiness. (Especially when I remember to water the tree.)
Lights everywhere! But only the white kind that doesn't blink, because I am a purist, and colored lights and blinking lights and LED lights (and God forbid, blinking, colored, LED lights) are sacrilegious.
"Oh Holy Night." Specifically, the Mariah Carey version that makes me tear up every time.
Christmas candles. And the food-scented ones.
Secret Santas. Gifts are fun, but secret gifts are funner.
Appropriately-timed Christmas music. Like when you're decorating the tree. And prepping for holiday guests.
Poinsettias, specifically when they wither in a cold car and then magically re-bloom to full gorgeousness in a warm house. (And they last FOREVER.)
Laughing about the horrendously ugly ornament you made when you were five, plus all the other ornament memories you think of as you hang them.
Sipping hot chocolate while snuggled in a cozy blanket. Ok, that's not Christmas-y all by itself, but oh wait, I'm swirling a candy cane in my hot chocolate. And wearing a Santa hat. So there.
Watching kids go nuts over mall Santas. Either they're super excited to sit on the lap of a sweaty, fat man dressed in a red suit, and you have to smile at the innocence of it.... or they're freaking out about sitting on the lap of a sweaty, fat man dressed in a red suit, and you have to laugh at the poor parents.
Those gigantic tins of multi-flavored popcorn.
When you find strong tree branches for all your heavy ornaments.
That one gorgeously-wrapped present (with, like, a fancy fabric hand-tied bow and a sprig of holly), that's so pretty and perfect, you almost don't want to open it. Almost.
Celebrating other holidays with friends of different faiths. Spin that dreidel!
The house that decorates like it's in competition with the North Pole, complete with all 8 reindeer and a sleigh and accompanying Christmas music.
A full church for Christmas mass, all decked out with poinsettias and wreaths and lights and a giant manger scene.
Generosity. The real thing, the antithesis of Black Friday. Toys for Tots, the radio and TV stations that pay for servicemen and women to fly home to their families, the Christmas dinners donated for those in need, and everyone wishing each other happy holidays.
Finding the absolute perfect present for someone. (Bonus points if it's on sale.)
Classic Christmas movies. Home Alone, Frosty the Snowman, Christmas Vacation, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, A Christmas Story (marathon!), A Charlie Brown Christmas, It's a Wonderful Life...
Special holiday stamps. Thanks, USPS!
Decorating my very own Christmas tree!!!! (The inspiration for this post.)
What are your favorite Christmas things? And that Christmas song you could hear a million times and never get tired of? And your favorite Christmas--or other holiday--tradition? Leave them in the comments!