There's something so magical about Christmas.

I'm not sure what it is about this Christmas, but it feels more special this year.

Is it the way snowflakes silently fall to the ground and on their way down some tuck
themselves away on tree branches while others cover the ground in a perfect sheet of
flawless white.

And the world suddenly falls silent.

Is it the smell of the freshly cut tree that was cut at the local Christmas tree farm where
carols play in the fields and caramel corn waits at a stand in the field, families strolling
here and there looking for

the perfect tree -

and then gathering around the crackling bon fire sipping hot apple cider.

My hubby and I strolled the streets of this quaint little town near out home earlier this week,
the air filled with the sights and sounds of Christmas,

carolers singing on the street corner -

and my hubby singing "Ho Ho The Mistletoe" in my ear.

As couples strolled by, listening to the laughter in their conversations as they juggled packages filled with treasures.

I come downstairs in the morning, turn on the Christmas tree lights and light the lighted grape wreaths in the windows, put a log on the fire and a pan of apple cider with cinnamon sticks on the stove to simmer all day.

This morning my youngest daughter called just to chat.  I asked what her favorite memories of Christmas were growing up in our family.  Without even blinking she said -

all the cookie baking.

I always remember the cookies.

It made me smile because it took me back to my childhood and my mom baking Christmas cookies right after Thanksgiving, tucking them away in the upstairs pantry just a few steps from our bedroom doors, and warning my 4 brothers and I to stay our of the cookie jars til Christmas.  Which was an open invitation for us to raid them every night before we crawled into bed.

And we did.

And I'm pretty sure every year when she told us to stay out of the cookies -

she knew -

they'd be half eaten by Christmas.

And she never said a word.

She also remembers when she was 6 years old and asking Santa for a purple watch.  On Christmas morning she ran down to her stocking and there it was -

the purple watch.

She stills remembers the excitement she felt thinking that Santa knew where her house was -

and. . .

that he brought her exactly what she wanted.

A memory that still makes her happy to think about today.

I love the traditions our family has created.  And I love hearing other family's traditions.

My same daughter called 2 nights ago to say -

she asked her 6 year old daughter if she'd like to make gingerbread cookies and decorate them.  And she said, "No", I do that with my GaGa Sandy.

So she asked her  if she would like to make Christmas sugar cookies and decorate them, and her daughter replied, "No" I do that with my GaGa Sandy.

Traditions + Memories -

Is it because they all blend together to make us who we are today and to make this magical season even more magical for each of us for all our own reasons.

Or -

Maybe -

is it the story from another time so many years ago on Christmas eve when a man and a woman traveled by donkey on a journey to deliver the most precious gift of all -  traveling in the most primitive of ways over hills and through valleys not knowing when they arrived in a town unfamiliar
to them in the middle of the night the only place to lay their head that night would be in a stable nestled among donkeys and sheep filled with the anticipation of the gift they were bringing to the world in the form of a tiny baby boy who would spend his first night in a lowly manager -

And who would one day be called our - Savior -

His name is Jesus. . .

Happy Birthday Jesus.