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Christmas is upon us! And for millions, it’s the most magical time of year. Americans have our own unique customs and traditions that make the season special. From decorating the Christmas tree to the annual cookie swap, here are some of our favorite traditions. 

One of the most beloved and oldest traditions is decorating the Christmas tree. Do you have a special day when you bring out the boxes of ornaments and lights and decorate the tree with family or friends? Did you know that people who decorate early for Christmas are generally happier? Some families even have a tradition of buying a new ornament each year to add to their collection. Are you an early decorator? Or do you wait until the last possible second?

What about Christmas cards? Many people take time to write a thoughtful message and send cards to family and friends who live far away. As you may have guessed, there’s a link between Christmas cards and mental health. Who knew? Some take a family photo or include the ever-controversial Christmas newsletter in their cards. What are your thoughts on the end-of-the-year newsletter? 

Another Christmas tradition in America is the highly anticipated Christmas cookie swap. Friends and family will bake their favorite Christmas cookies and exchange them with each other. This tradition is excellent for sharing delicious treats with loved ones and trying new recipes. What are your favorite cookies to munch on for Jesus’ birthday?

Lots of families drive around neighborhoods looking at all the lit-up, fully decked-out houses. There are some pretty spectacular displays out there. Almost every neighborhood has at least one house with enough wattage to guide a plane down from the sky.

So, what are your favorite traditions? Whether you’re celebrating Christmas or another holiday, tis the season to be mindful of our blessings. How do you celebrate? You don’t have to do Christmas the way it’s always been done because “that’s just the way it is.” Is there something you want to do away with? What makes it magical? Or stressful? And, for your sanity and peace, do away with the notion of “the perfect Christmas.”

That Christmas already happened over 2000 years ago, when the Son of The Living God, The Giver of Good Gifts, chose to be born in a barn and lay in a makeshift manger while the world slept, not knowing that the King of Heaven had entered our realm. He’s the only One who can make Christmas perfect. You just have to accept that he already did. 

Merry Christmas!