Christmas traditions are the fun part

Everyone has their favorite holiday, and Christmas is definitely mine. Since childhood, I have loved Christmas and everything that comes alone with it. From hanging up lights to watching holiday movies, I get into the Christmas spirit quite easily. If I could, I would probably start decorating for Christmas in October. However, the rule in my house has always been that the tree does not go up until the day after Thanksgiving.

Each year, we go through the same dilemma - to put white lights or colored lights on our tree. This dilemma has almost become a tradition, with the outcome changing from year to year. Traditions like these are my favorite part of the holiday season, even if they are small. Like many families, we open one present on Christmas Eve, just before bed. Christmas morning, I get up to go feed my livestock animal, and come home to the smell of cinnamon rolls. After eating a few cinnamon rolls, the present opening begins.

In my house, we try to alternate through people and the size of presents between each opening. Each person goes through their presents, and we clean up all of the gift-wrap. The next few hours are spent playing with the new gadgets and gifts. We normally have food trays around the house to munch on during the day - until dinnertime, that is. When evening rolls around, we have the typical Christmas dinner. When our stomachs are full with favorites like turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes, we settle down and watch a Christmas movie.

After Christmas comes the relaxation of winter break. Relaxation is a relative term, however, as the break is usually spent catching up on homework and studying for quickly approaching exams. Between the studying, winter break is time for sleeping in and watching holiday movies. A few days later, after all of the cookies and milk have worn off, New Year's rolls around.

On New Year's Eve, I normally find myself struggling to stay awake until midnight. Unlike past years, I will be spending this New Year's surrounded with people - at Disney World no less. My wonderful friend Katie's birthday happens to fall on Jan. 1, and this year we are celebrating it in the happiest place on Earth. To spend my New Year's out and about will certainly be a change.

Whether your holiday break consists of spending time with family or simply a day off at Christmas, I hope that you enjoy it. The holiday season is a time to be grateful for all that you have, and remember those who don't have enough. For those who don't celebrate Christmas or aren't all that into the Christmas spirit, it is still a time to be thankful.

Regardless of what may be happening in your life or around the world at Christmastime, all of those problems seem to be forgotten. Attention seems to turn to Christmas trees and wrapping presents rather than work and school. The holiday season is often associated with added stress, but I think it should be the opposite. It is a time to take off from stressful situations and simply be around loved ones. From Christmas traditions to New Year's celebrations, the holidays are a welcome distraction from our hectic lives. Spend your holidays doing what you love, which is what the holiday season is all about. No matter how you spend it, I wish you and your family a very merry Christmas and happy holidays.