That said, there are certain things that my family MUST have on hand to celebrate Christmas. These items are vital for infusing our house with the spirit of Christmas. If we don't have these items, we might muddle through as a family. We're troopers. However, we will be very cross, whiny, and complain a lot, and generally not be fit for company.
REINDEER. Last year my son insisted that we HAD to have a reindeer in the front yard. Had to. In the front yard. We explained to our child that reindeer lived at the North Pole with Santa, and that it was very cold at the North Pole. We explained about climate and discussed the whole 'fiery sun shining down 360 days out of the year' angle. None of those silly facts made a difference; the boy demanded a reindeer. In the front yard. So we went to a store and bought him one of those wire reindeer that have lights all over them and set it up. In the front yard. And plugged it in. And all was right with the world. We don't put up any outdoor decorations, just the reindeer. In the front yard. It's sort of become a badge of honor.
COOKIES. Santa MUST have his cookies and milk. Not just any cookies, either. These delectable treats for Saint Nick must be "homemade" chocolate chip cookies, fresh from the oven. There have been years when I just did not feel like making cookies, but I am soundly chastised for my lack of Christmas spirit. If Santa doesn't have the "good" cookies, we will get rotten presents, is my son's logic. Who am I to argue with that? So he and I make chocolate chip cookies on Christmas Eve and leave out a couple for Santa. Then we stuff our faces with the rest, because fresh chocolate chip cookies? That is heaven to our taste buds!
A CHRISTMAS STORY. This movie came out when I was in high school, and it is the only Christmas movie allowed in my house. It MUST be viewed at least once in its entirety during the 24hrs of Christmas. We MUST cackle over the Bumpus' dogs. We MUST giggle over the major prize, and the Chinese turkey. (I have a friend who goes with her family to a Chinese restaurant on Christmas day just because of that movie, and we'd do that too, if our collective families wouldn't have a fit.) It's not Christmas if A Christmas Story isn't on the blu-ray player.
OBNOXIOUS NOISY DECORATION. Every year, my son wants us to get out this Christmas tree that has a train in it. The train travels round and round the tree while Christmas music plays. Yes it is cute. The first 40 times or so. After that, it becomes just an obnoxious noise that must be silenced. I confess that I've removed the batteries on occasion, just to get some peace. But the boy loves it, and sits in front of it for hours, watching the train go around and around. It's not the same if we don't get that tree out, so I put up with it for the month of December.
DIE HARD. Yep, this one is for the grownups! I love this movie, from back when Bruce Willis had hair. My husband and I watch this movie every year after Zane is in bed. We will pour ourselves a glass or two of wine, and sit back and watch the yippee-ki-yay to our hearts content. Unless my husband has some complicated toy to put together before the boy wakes up. Then he works on that while I kick my feet up and enjoy Bruce pummeling Alexander Gudonov and other assorted baddies.
How about you? What are YOUR Christmas must haves?
4.) Christmas Must Haves (could even be a list created by a child)