Hi, Kim! Thanks for inviting me to answer these questions.
1. Everything about Christmas is magic to me. I think there’s just something so hopeful about it; it’s one last time during the year to be with those you love, give to those in need, mend mistakes, make wishes, or set intentions for a bright new beginning in the new year. With that, I think of all the beautiful lights on houses and trees, snowy rooftops, family traditions, peppermint everything, decorations, treats, music…I really do love all of it.
2. Every year is a little different because I have a lot of extended family; so Christmas is always split up between each family branch. I always look forward to seeing everyone and catching up. In my immediate family, one fun tradition is unwrapping a gift on Christmas Eve with my two sisters. We pretend to be surprised, but it always turns out to be a pair of festive pajama pants. The next morning we wake up, turn on some holiday music, exchange gifts, and have a big breakfast before heading out to more family get-togethers.
This is my sisters and I (and our family cats!) in last year’s pj’s
3. Something fun that we do in my family is called “RACK’d” – which means “Random Acts of Christmas Kindness.” We used to put together things like hot chocolate mix, snack bags, bundles of gloves/hats, and other little things that might help or put a smile on someone’s face, who might be having a hard time during the holidays. These days we haven’t been calling it “RACK’d” so much, but we still make sure to somehow give to others as much as possible. That’s the whole point of Christmas to me. I plan to pass that down to my own children when the time comes.
4. I know that this can be a hard time for some. It weighs on my heart to know that there are families who feel broken, who are missing members, or people who might be alone. I think it’s important to be kind to everyone you meet, all year round, but also during this time of year; you never know what they might be dealing with. Even a simple, genuine smile, can make a difference to someone. I feel very fortunate and grateful for everyone I have in my life, and I try to hold them tight and remember what’s important, rather than get caught up in the hassle that the holidays can bring.
5. I wish for everyone, for just a minute… to let go of their to-do lists, their buying lists, financial or travel stresses, or whatever else is causing them to feel tense… and choose love. I hope that for a minute at least, they can recognize the beauty that Christmas time has to offer, and feel the hope of the new year that grows closer.