My Favorite Time of Year....

is Christmastime.

So many memories, especially from my childhood, are Christmas memories. When I was a little kid, my parents did the traditional stuff with us - a tree, Santa, decorations, etc. As a family we'd put up our Christmas tree, and put lights up in front of the house. To this day, outdoor decorations look weird to me, without the lights reflecting off the snow (so imagine how I felt the first time I saw Christmas lights in FL!). Its not Christmas without a beautiful white blanket of snow outside. As a kid, we could never sleep on Christmas Eve, and we'd be up at the crack of dawn to open our presents. My parents always got us great stuff, and we were never disappointed.

I miss that, especially the family part. We've always been close, so to me, its not the holidays unless I'm surrounded by my family, especially my siblings, and we're doing silly things together. The joy of growing up in a big family...

Another thing I love about Christmas is the music! I love love love Christmas music, especially the classic stuff. Its just not the Christmas season without it. The day after Thanksgiving, I start playing my Christmas playlist nonstop, and I tune to the Holiday channels on SiriumXM. I don't listen to a ton of contemporary stuff, I prefer the old standards, the songs that I sang & listened to a child.

So what's on my Christmas playlist? Check it out:

< *"Jingle Bell Rock" - Bobby Helms *"Rocking Around The Christmas Tree" - Brenda Lee *"Sleigh Ride" - Ella Fitzgerald (one of my absolute all-time faves) *"Winter Wonderland" - Ray Charles (another one of my absolute all-time faves) *"This Christmas" - Donny Hathaway (yet another absolute all-time fave) *"The Christmas Song" - Nat King Cole (the only version I will listen to)

*"Wonderful Christmastime" - Paul McCartney *"Joy to the World" - Whitney Houston (from the Preacher's Wife sdtk) *"Christmas Time is Here"- A Charlie Brown Christmas *"The Nutcracker" - Tchaikovsky (the whole thing!)

And that's just a few tunes...

I also have to watch "The Nutcracker", "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and the animated "How The Grinch Stole Christmas", along with "A Christmas Story" on Christmas day.

Do you have any Christmas traditions or memories? Share!