What's your favorite thing about Christmas?
What do you like about Christmas? Food? Family? Shopping? Travel? Gifts? Quiet time? Spirituality?
For me, my daughter has been a game-changer. What I appreciate about the holiday completely changed after I became a mother.
I like taking stock of what Olivia likes in the months ahead, then buying her the presents I know she'll love. I like making a family event out of putting up the tree. I like figuring out how to keep the Santa myth alive and the funny stories that come out of it (Why does Santa use our gift wrap? Why is this gift tag from Santa in your handwriting?) I like helping her choose gifts for her friends and helping her wrap it.
I also really love the downtime the day brings. The world feels quiet and reflective. I wish we had more of that in our society. More family time, more interpersonal connection. The planet could use more of that. There is a richness of spirit around the 24th and 25th.
I asked a handful of nice folks the same question, and here's what they said:
Lindsay Davenport, former top-ranked women's tennis player:
"I have four young children - ages eight, six, four, and two - so I like the excitement, waking up early. My husband and I come from large families and they all live within 30 minutes of us, but it always seems hard to get everyone together at certain times of the year. It's always great for us; we host Christmas Eve and to have both sides of the family and 50 or 60 people in our house, all the presents- it's always my favorite night of the whole year. I like seeing everyone, my kids' anticipation towards Santa Claus, reading stories, and all the little family stuff that goes with it."
Wally Amos, gourmet cookie baker and owner of The Cookie Kahuna:
"The rest! I don't have to do interviews, demos, Costco. Things just settle down. Right at Christmas I have all four, maybe eight cylinders! I appreciate the opportunity to do nothing."
Jai Cunningham, KHON2 Wake Up 2Day Early Edition anchor:
"Watching the kids open presents! I also love my youngest daughter's detailed wish list and how much information she puts about each desired object. She spells it out so it's very clear what she wants. I get a good laugh out of that."
Jordan Segundo, singer and entertainer:
"I like a lot of things about Christmas. I like shopping for gifts, getting people the perfect gift, wrapping it, and cooking! I do a good pumpkin crunch. That's my go-to recipe. But I tried a new one this Thanksgiving that I'll probably do for Christmas- buttermilk pie."
Jake Shimabukuro, musician:
"Just watching my children, three year old Chase and seven month old Cole, enjoy the holiday and all the family coming over. My greatest fear is failing to wake up at 3 a.m. to stuff the stockings. Hasn't happened yet though, so it's good!"
Chelsea Hardin, Miss Hawaii USA 2016:
"The feeling in the air. You can feel it. It might not be cold or a white Christmas here, but it's the holiday spirit. I love it, I embrace it. Everyone's so happy. You know it's Christmas time."
Thomas Q. Jones, actor and former NFL player:
"The whole family energy and Christmas music. Christmas music makes me think of good times, puts me in a good place. I don't see my family much at Christmas anymore because I'm always traveling, but I think family and Christmas music go hand in hand at this time."
Have a Merry Christmas, everyone!