It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

With apologies to Andy Williams for stealing his song title, allow me to expound on why I love the Christmas holiday season so much.  You may think, hey, you’re an atheist.  Why do you love Christmas?  Well, just because I don’t believe in the religious aspects of the holiday doesn’t mean I let all the secular fun pass me by.  There’s nothing Christian about decorated trees, fairy lights, tinsel and garland, 85% of the holiday music you hear on the radio, hot cocoa with marshmallows, Frosty the Snowman, and a whole host of other fun goodies.  Winter is one of my favorite seasons anyway, so I already enjoy myself as it is, but the holidays just add an extra layer of cheer to the proceedings.

Growing up in Chicago, there were always Christmas traditions my family used to partake in.  One of them was driving over to Logan Square to see this one house that was always ridiculously decorated in lights.  He was an older gentleman, and he did all this because he enjoyed all the families coming by to see it and take pictures.  I don’t know if he or his descendants still do it, but I would like to think they do.  After that, we’d go downtown and see the windows at Marshall Field’s (now Macy’s, but they still decorate them).  It was freezing in the Loop, but we’d bundle up and do it anyway.  Sometimes we’d stop for dinner at Berghoff’s (not there anymore), other times we’d go straight for Daley Plaza (not Dealey Plaza….that’s in Dallas) and see the big tree, then head over to the German Christmas village that was right alongside it.  My sister and I used to get a huge kick out of all of this when we were little.  I miss all of that, because where we live now, there isn’t anything remotely close to that around.  I wish there was, because it would be nice to be a little kid again, even for just a day.

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