I LOVE Christmas... look forward to it more than anything else!
What I didn't previously like is the commercialism, with all the pressure to shop and spend so much money on gifts. But then I realized that no person or amount of marketing can MAKE me spend so much money. Since then, I've started making a lot of crafty gifts or baking cookies or breads and giving those instead of store-bought items (although I still give some store-bought gifts). This year I have made a queen size quilt using squares of my 2 year old's baby blankets for one of his gifts. I made a quilt using squares of my neice's baby clothes for her gift. And big cushy fleece bean bags for all the other kids in the family.
Gift giving back in my grandparents' time was much more special than it is now. Most of them weren't able to just run out to Target and get whatever they wanted, like a lot of us can now. It just doesn't seem special to go to fight the crowds looking for that special something for Aunt Bessie, knowing that if she wants a Foreman Grill, she would have already bought one! People tend to appreciate simple, homemade gifts so much more.
My favorite things about Christmas are: looking at all the lights (my child is still in awe when he sees them, and the look on his face is priceless); the advent season at my church with all its special activities (toy collections, pageants, breakfasts, putting together baskets for the needy); Christmas music; and just the general feeling that most people are in a good mood (strangers smile at you, let you out in traffic, etc); traditions (my family never really had many traditions, and I am trying to make up for that by starting lots of new ones).
I personally think it is important to remember the whole reason for Christmas. I try to reflect on it each day during the season. I will try to teach my child that aspect primarily. I will also teach him of the importance of giving to those in need. But I will also teach him about SANTA CLAUS and that whole magical aspect of Christmas that is so magical!