12 Greatest Joys of December
As we enter the Christmas season, I want to share with you The 12 Greatest Joys of December.
On social media, I asked for you to share with me your greatest joys for the holiday season. This article is a compilation of your responses.
On the first day of December, my greatest joy is family gatherings, meals shared, and memories made.
Picture for a moment the last time your family gathered around a table. There were stories shared, overlapping conversations, and contagious laughter. Intimate moments like this, we always hold close in our hearts.
One of my favorite memories is the year I put paper and pens on the table and asked everyone to write something they were grateful for. I planned to use the responses in my scrapbook. My father-in-law brought everyone to laugher with his note saying he was thankful for rum cake.
Next time your family gathers, be sure to recognize the love and sharing that is taking place.
On the second day of December, my greatest joy is singing Christmas carols and listening to Christmas music.
The fun thing about Christmas music is we know most of the songs and enjoy singing along. Everywhere we go, Christmas music is playing… malls, restaurants, and even on the radio in our own cars.
I especially love the beautiful Christmas music at church. When my granddaughter was about five years old, I took her to church with me to hear the music. The church has theatre-style seats that pop up when no one is sitting on them. Sweet Jaclyn didn’t weigh enough to keep her seat down and she looked like a mosquito trapped in a clothespin.
As always though, the church music was fabulous.
On the third day of December, my greatest joy is shopping for special gifts and watching loved ones open their presents.
It is indeed special to be gifted a present that was chosen exactly and especially for you. I have two friends with this unique talent to choose gifts for each person on their list based on their specific interests.
So this year, take time to think about what each recipient of your gifts would truly enjoy. Part of the joy of the gift is the actual unwrapping of the gift and being surprised as to what the box holds.
Let this be the year we ban gift cards.
On the fourth day of December, my greatest joy is decorating for the holidays, hanging stockings on the mantel, and placing a wreath on the door.
I have friends who start decorating by Halloween and I have other friends who decorate on Christmas Eve. I usually do my own decorating on the weekend after Thanksgiving to get a month’s worth of joy out of all the red and green shiny baubles. It was mid-October this year when my husband said he was more excited about the holidays than in years past.
There have been times when I barely hung a wreath and other years, I go all out and decorate every square inch inside my home and out on the porches.
But, just seeing a decorated mantel with stockings hanging below, a beautiful wreath on the door, Santas and snowmen adorning tables, and a Christmas village under the tree will certainly bring out the Christmas spirit in all of us.
On the fifth day of December, my greatest joy is choosing a Christmas tree and decorating it.
Oh my! Will we have a live tree, a cut one, or put up an artificial tree? Again, I’ve used different trees in different years for one reason or another. Growing up, my Daddy and I trekked off to the woods behind our house to find the perfect tree to chop down and drag back with us. Not only is this a beautiful memory, but fresh trees do make your home smell Christmasy.
And decorating a tree is surely one of the most fun activities during the season. Each ornament seems to have its own story which we are reminded of as we place it on the tree.
On the sixth day of December, my greatest joy is watching the children’s excitement and laughter and attending their plays and choral events.
Every home with a young child knows that true excitement abounds as we watch the little ones open their gifts. The laughter of the kids is heartwarming. I remember one Christmas when my young grandson said he could not open any more gifts. He just wanted to enjoy what he had already opened.
But before Christmas morning, it is a special opportunity to attend plays or choral events where the children are the stars. They are so precious as they sing and dance their ways into our hearts.
On the seventh day of December, my greatest joy is mailing and receiving Christmas cards, both near and far.
Writing and sending Christmas cards to everyone we know has become a lost art. There were years that I would mail out over a hundred cards. This year, that number is less than 20. And many people have quit mailing cards altogether.
Maybe the fact that we don’t receive as many make the ones we do receive more special. Of course, our favorites are usually ones that include a family photo. That may be the only chance we’ve had to see how everyone has grown or changed in the past year.
My challenge to you is to make a point to mail a few cards this year. Your older friends would certainly appreciate the thought along with friends you rarely see or chat with.
On the eighth day of December, my greatest joy is enjoying the Christmas lights both indoors and outdoors.
Lights, lights, and more lights. Everyone loves Christmas lights!
As a child, we had a huge cedar tree right by the road. Every year, my Daddy would put his ladder in the back of his truck and reach as far as he could to hang lights on that tree. It was the star of the neighborhood.
Fast forward to the last few years when my son and his family have decorated with over 50,000 outdoor lights timed to music. As traffic lines up to watch the display, I know my Daddy is honored that his grandson carried on the tradition.
On the ninth day of December, my greatest joy is the cold weather, wearing mittens, scarves, and the first snowfall.
Even though I do not like to be cold, winter does bring a fresh crispness to the air. Scarves are immensely popular and I’ve many colors and textures to choose from. Dressing for winter is a nice break from the summer attire.
Being from the South, we do not see a lot of snow. So, at the forecast of snow, the city shuts down to wait and watch. There is nothing like the sight of freshly fallen snow. Then out the door go the kids and snowmen will soon line the streets.
On the tenth day of December, my greatest joy is baking goodies and enjoying the aromas, then giving the treats to family and friends.
Now I must say, baking Christmas goodies is a definite favorite for many of us. I so enjoy making a variety of breads and coffee cakes to share with family and friends. Of course, cookie exchanges are a popular way to have a wide variety of goodies for your holiday event.
Last year, I was motivated by a fabulous recipe I found online for Christmas Jam. It was a combination of cranberries, strawberries, and a host of spices. I thought it was delicious and I loved sharing it with everyone on my Christmas list.
On the eleventh day of December, my greatest joy is taking time to watch holiday movies and theatre shows, and attend concerts.
We all have our favorite holiday movies to watch and it usually includes everything from It’s a Wonderful Life to Home Alone.
For many years now, I’ve tried to attend a different concert or show each time. We enjoyed seeing the Nutcracker, A Christmas Carol, and Miracle on 34th Street.
But one of our favorite shows was seeing the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. If you haven’t seen it, be sure to put it on your list of things to see.
On the twelfth day of December, my greatest joy is celebrating the birth of baby Jesus!
This is the day we are all waiting for – the birth of our Savior, baby Jesus.
Ministers share the story and families read the story of the birth of Jesus from Luke every year. It is a story absolutely like no other. This is the story that is the only reason we celebrate Christmas.
I hope you have enjoyed sharing the 12 Greatest Joys of December with me. Perhaps it stirred some of your own special memories. Maybe you’re now inspired to create some new traditions of your own.
No matter how you spend Christmas, Daniel and I want to wish you a blessed and peaceful holiday season.
Discover Your Joy
Be sure to grab your copy of Discover Your Joy, a daily devotional/inspirational book for the entire year. It’s also a great holiday gift for Moms, aunts, friends, neighbors, and co-workers.
I am honored to share this excerpt of an article by my publicist:
Readers and reviewers alike have praised ‘Discover Your Joy‘. One said, “Each page in “Discover Your Joy” is a simple and beautiful reminder that the world may not be perfect, there will always be the ups and the downs, but we have the ability to CHOOSE each day how we will use this gift we call life. I highly recommend this book!!” Another stated, “Pistole gives great insight into ways to remind us that our joy is important and to beware of “joy stealers”. This book is a great way to start your mornings with a great cup of coffee and to discover your joy each and every day!”
Here are 2 articles you’re sure to enjoy –
Choosing Joy Every Day
How 8 Families Cook, Bake, and Feast Together
Hey, one more thing…
I’d love to have you join my Circle of Friends Newsletter and have joyful inspiration delivered right to your inbox once a month.
The link is below.
Wonderful Words! Stirring! An extra Special Gift!! Thank You!♥️
I love the positivity this time of year! We can really get bogged down but the season is so magical! I actually like that you included gifts. I know we are always down on consumerism (as we should be), so the GIVING gets overlooked!
I never used to care about Christian cards but now I love getting them in the mail!!
My favorites are the 1st and the 10th days! I loved when you said “Next time your family gathers, be sure to recognize the love and sharing that is taking place”. Thank you for sharing!
i like christmas songs and being friends and family members