I have a love/hate relationship with Amy Grant, but I do go back to her Christmas albums once in a while. They're dated and sentimental and the production is nearly unlistenable, but there's something about her vocal performance that just feels really true. I would take her Christmas albums over Mariah Carey's or Destiny's Child's any day.
After church on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, my family would go chop down our Christmas tree. Once it was home and placed in its stand, Mom and I would painstakingly decorate our tree. It took hours to place the tinsel, string the lights, find the perfect spot for my favorite macaroni and felt ornaments from kindergarten.
Our many different cultures notwithstanding, there's something about the holidays that makes the planet communal. Even nations that do not celebrate Christmas can't help but be caught up in the collective spirit of their neighbors, as twinkling lights dot the landscape and carols fill the air. It's an inspiring time of the year.