I'm happiest in the Christmas time when I just ignore the entire season until December 18th. I don't listen to Christmas music, I don't shop, and I don't stress or worry about anything. Actually I seldom even plan for anything that will follow up until that point. Besides, with my family planning doesn't help anyway.
For two years in a row I've tried to have my entire family over to my house for Christmas. In year's past I've been to everyone's house who hosted Christmas. I even had to do split Christmas duty and spend the whole holiday driving all over the place just to make it everywhere. Now that I have a house I will have hosted the last two Christmas gatherings only hardly anyone shows up for various reasons. Mostly they'd rather just not bother. I used to be irritated by this but now I see it as a blessing because I don't have to do as much.
It's at these times people tell me to remember what Christmas is really all about, but with all due respect to Linus I think I'll just keep Christmas a secular holiday for me.
This is what I love about Christmas time:
Girls in sweaters
Christmas lights (especially blue)
Holiday TV Specials (Rudolph and Charlie Brown are my favorite)
Getting Christmas cards when people actually write something in them.
Things during Christmas I could do without:
Christmas Cards where you just sign your name. Don't bother.
Any variation of the 12 Days of Christmas where someone thinks they can make it funny by changing the words. Stop it. No one cares?
Lame nativity plays
So-called Christmas stories where most of the Biblical accounts are wrong.
Have a Merry Christmas to all.