Here in Texas we are actually getting some cold weather for a change. This actually helps put me in the mood for the holidays since I am originally from the New England region.
I have a tough time getting into the "spirit" of Christmas, since it just seems like an over commercialized holiday to me. When I lived in Italy, I enjoyed it much more. There was more of a focus on the religous aspect of the holiday, without the hurried commotion of shopping, shopping, shopping for a gift for a cousin you only see once a year. I remember strolling the plaza, enjoying the sights, and just relaxing in the glow of the nativity star (it was about 50 feet long, they do go for some tackiness).
This year is especially tough for me since I will be away from my extended family during the holidays for the first time in 6 years. I do enjoy spending time with them; appreciating how my family can lift my spirits, even when they might not be on my good side. I would skip celebrating altogether if it weren't for my son. The wonder of the season captivates him, and the joy on his face Christmas morning is priceless.
In case you were wondering, Santa does not spoil him. In fact, my son leaves presents for Santa, so that he (Santa) can take them to other boys and girls who are not as lucky as he is. All on his own one day, my six year came up with this idea. I could not not support his generous spirit.
To all of you, I hope the magic of the season captures you and brings you joy and happiness.