Interesting cloud formations.
Also, our tree.
My son chose the fugliest star in the store, IMO. I thought about overruling him for the shiny/sparkly tree-topper I wanted, but then I realized he's 6, and I'm an adult, and I should let him have this one. It's a wake-up call when you have to talk yourself down from having Christmas just the way you want it. Fortunately, I came to my senses and got him the Christmas star of his choosing.
It's not like we have a tasteful tree anyway. I prefer cheerful and gaudy. And now that my Jewish, Christmas-hating, color-hating ex has no say so, I make it as cheerful and gaudy as I and the kids can.
I don't, and never have since I left home, celebrated the religious aspects of Christmas. I think it's a fun winter festival with which I associate a lot of good memories, and I enjoy creating memories for my children. We don't go too wild with the presents. I've found that any more than 5 or 6 under the tree (they get gifts from my parents and a few family friends too), and they just get overwhelmed. On top of Santa coming and filling their stockings, anything else is too much. (My son still believes in Santa, and my daughter's been great about not giving it away. He's expressed some doubts though, so I'm really treasuring his sweet little serious conversations about Santa this year.)
I bake Christmas cookies, the kind you cut into shapes with cookies cutters and decorate with colored icing, every year with them. We go to Zoolights. We watch Christmas movies and build a Gingerbread House. We have Christmas music playing a lot. We make an extra effort to see friends, even if only for an hour. There's usually a party or two or three...We always have fondue on Christmas Eve, and often friends over for dinner the next day (like this year.)
In all, I love Christmas. I get why some people don't like it on principle or based on past experiences, for a variety of reasons. I just don't feel the same way. So as not to step on toes, and to acknowledge the holiday season (which I finally just gave up and decided is November 1 - January 1. Now I don't get upset at Christmas decorations in stores before Thanksgiving anymore. It's just one long Holiday.), I wish people "Happy Holidays" if anything more than "good-bye" seems warranted. Though in my mind, I'm really saying, "Merry Christmas."
Yay! Christmas is here at last! I enjoy the hell out of it, then breathe a sigh of relief when I drag the tree out three weeks later, put away pine-scented candles, and eagerly anticipate the new year.