Originally Posted by Storm Bride
I've never quite been able to decide what part is my favourite.
I love the lights - something about all those twinkles and glows in the dark is really uplifting. I like walking and driving around and seeing lights everywhere. (I don't mind the inflatables and stuff, as long as they're not too over the top.) We have some amazing light-based attractions in Vancouver, and we go to at least one each year (google Van Dusen gardens, Capilano Suspension Bridge, and Stanley Park Christmas train, if you're interested - Capilano Suspension Bridge's show is particularly magical).
I love the music. There are some songs, and some versions of others, that I don't care for. But, in general, I like hearing all the upbeat, bouncy Christmas songs (the stuff like Frosty and Rudolph and Up on the Housetop, etc.) and the beautiful, beautiful carols. I'm not religious - my Christmas is completely secular/cultural - but I love Christmas carols.
The smells...pine/fir and citrus (from all the mandarins) and spices and baking and...it's all so delicious. Every year, that moment when we bring the tree inside, and the whole house smells of it, is the most pure "this is Christmas" moment of the whole season.
Food and family - separate, but intertwined, because we do a big dinner at my mom's, with both my siblings and their families, every year. I love all the foods - mincemeat tarts and fruit cake (yes - I love fruit cake - we do exist!) and mandarin oranges and shortbread and turkey with the trimmings and butter cookies (yes - storebought) and pfefferneusse and gingerbread and everything I'm forgetting - that we only eat at this time of year.
I love the traditions, both small and large. I love finding some marzipan fruit for my mom, because one of us has bought her marzipan fruit every Christmas since my brother was about twelve (he's almost 50). I love picking out a craft and working with my three youngest, to make gifts for their grandparents (haven't figured those out for this year yet). I love opening brand new PJs on Christmas Eve. I love doing the activity advent calendar for the kids. I love watching It's a Wonderful Life (dh's favourite Christmas movie - I hadn't actually seen it when he met me, which shocked him).
I love shopping for stocking stuffers. I love opening all the stockings on Christmas morning, while the whole family chills in our PJs (the new ones we got the night before). I love watching the expressions on everyone's faces as they find the things they were looking for (the Bic 4 colour pen, for instance) and the new surprises.
I love the wrapping paper and gift bags, and generally festive appearance around the Christmas tree.
The Christmas tree. I can't even describe how much I love Christmas trees - the lights, the tinsel, the decorations, etc. I love the smell. I love the pile of presents underneath (I think if we had no gifts, I'd dig out empty boxes and wrapping paper, just for the pile).
So...yeah...I'm kind of a Christmas junkie. I'm sure I forgot lots of stuff.