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Thursday, December 21, 2006

My Grown-up Christmas List [2]

By Alison, writing from Pennsylvania, USA

Part Two

My Christmas TreeI put up my tree a few weeks ago, during the first weekend of December. I love my tree. Yes, it is artificial; I don't have the room for a real tree. My mother bought it for me when I was in my very first apartment about 10 years ago. She told me it is supposed to be a tree that grows in the Italian Alps. To me, it looks somewhere between a regular Christmas tree...and a Charlie Brown Tree. My little tree has small metallic balls and white shimmery ornaments hanging on it with the mini white lights. Amazingly enough, I was also able to find a lighted star to put on the top. It is set up in front of one of my living room windows - which also has the single white candle on the window sill.

My nativity setI also have a nativity that I put out on display. I searched for the perfect set for years. My set is from a collection called Willow Tree. What I love about it is that this is one of the very few nativities where Mary is actually holding Jesus. There are no faces on the people or animals in this set, but you can still feel the emotion of it.

While putting up my tree and getting out the nativity and other decorations I am sure I will have Christmas music. I love most Christmas music, but there are a few songs that "it isn't Christmas" until I hear them for the first time. They are:

"Linus and Lucy" by Vince Guaraldi

Otherwise known as the theme from "Peanuts". Every American child born in the late '60s/early 70s until now recognizes the first few notes of this piano masterpiece by Vince Guaraldi and can remember sitting with their family watching "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and feeling bad for Charlie Brown and his little tree.

"O Come All Ye Faithful" by Elvis Presley

I grew up listening to Elvis at Christmas because my stepfather is a big fan of his. Christmas wouldn't be the same without it.

"Do They Know It's Christmas" by Band Aid

Something about this song takes me back to the 1980s and my teenage years. I loved British pop music at that time and I really loved this song. It really puts the whole world into perspective by reminding us how lucky we are and to remember those who aren't as fortunate.

"Christmas Wrapping" by the Waitresses

I don't have a particular reason why I love this song;I just do. It is quirky and very 1980s.

"Christmastime" by Bryan Adams

I fell in love with this song the very first time I heard it back in the 1980s. It took me 14 years to locate it on CD, but eventually I found it. This is proof that as long as you have patience, some things are worth waiting for.

"O Holy Night" by Josh Groban

There is not much I can say about this song other than it gives me goosebumps when I hear it. I happen to be a big Josh Groban fan, and he does an outstanding job with this song.

All of these traditions, including those I wrote about before: the Moravian Star, the single candle in the windows, 'Santa with an Attitude', special holiday meals, among many others, are what makes my Christmas special to me. I am hoping one day to share these traditions with my own family, while creating new ones with them. I encourage everyone who is celebrating the holidays to take some time out and think about your own traditions, while you are celebrating with your loved ones, and enjoy them to the fullest.

Part one | End of part two

Main | Chapter one | Chapter two | Chapter three

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