23 December 2009

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

I love Christmas.  I really do.  I can so easily get caught up in the MAGIC of the season.  The sights, the smells, the songs, the excitement over finding that perfect gift to give, the laughter, the cookies, the sweets, the holiday merriment.  It's all magical.  And more so with t-*-w-*-i-*-n-*-k-*-l-*-y lights and a fresh dusting of snow. 

While I was in Albania, My Love and I took nightly walks.  (Well, on the nights that we could convince each other that it really was warmer outside than inside that crumbly concrete apartment.  Which, it usually was warmer outside than inside.)  It's "our" thing to talk long walks together in whatever city we're currently.  We usually don't have a destination in mind, and often, we don't really talk much.  But they are some of my favorite times with My Love.  This time in Albania, there was an added layer of magic and excitement to our walks.  We headed out, down the street past the fountain, past the three gelato shops in a row, past ever-changing window displays of the latest fashion, round the corner at the ancient Venetian tower, down the boardwalk and back again.  And along the way, we'd look for all the new Christmas lights and displays being put up. 

C'mon, every city needs their own ancient Venetian tower decked out in Christmas lights.

It really is magical, isn't it?

Since I've been back in the States, I've had a hard time feeling the magic of Christmas.  Most of it is because I just haven't had any time to enjoy the little traditions that make Christmas so magical.  I realized that most of the magic of Christmas is related to the cheesy traditions we create and keep.  Sure, I remember with a smile, most of my Christmas presents, but the things that made and still make Christmas magic are the traditions.  Going to the candy store on Christmas Eve, wearing new PJs while listening to Dad read The Night Before Christmas, going for a drive to see all the Christmas lights, warm cinnamon rolls fresh from the oven on Christmas, watching all the Christmas movies in a dogpile on the couch with my brothers. 

So, I've decided, this year, I'm focusing on the excitement of seeing my parents and my brothers for Christmas.  Next year, you best be believing that I will most likely drive My Love nuts with starting Christmas traditions of our own and going for lots of walks to see Christmas lights..  ;-)

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