10 Signs That Christmas Has Arrived …

It's the most wonderful time of the year....and it's here! Finally! After a long year full of busy schedules, activities, school and other things, it's time to kick back and enjoy the holidays with your loved ones. For some, it may be a more special time of year than others - you know the ones I mean, those christmas addicts who practically live for the christmas season! I must confess I'm up there at the top of that list, and who can blame us! It's a crazy, jolly, happy and blessed time of year to come together with friends and family and lots of good food and exchange gifts as we celebrate the birth of christ. Don't you just love that special feeling in the air as christmas day draws closer and closer? Here are 10 signs that christmas has arrived!

1. Crowds

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Christmastime inevitably brings crowds. Whether it be at the mall, at church, parties and celebrations, or family gatherings, there are people no matter where we go! Although it can be harassing and stressful at times, it's all part of the merriment and jolliness of the holiday season! Crowds while you are trying to shop may get on your nerves, but when it comes to family, try and remember it's only for a little while and enjoy the time you have with them. Then it's all over until next year!

2. Window Displays

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I just love walking down the streets at christmas time and doing a bit of window shopping! The displays are always so merry and bright and full of good cheer! And the street lamps are usually decked out too. Seeing the little toy trains and beautiful china dolls and all the lights and holly in the store windows puts me in a great mood. It's such a sweet thing to see the faces of all the kids lighting up when they walk past a huge window display and start to dream about finding that very toy under the tree come christmas morning!

3. 25 Days of Christmas on Family Abc

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Every since I was a little girl, one of our family traditions has been to watch a christmas movie every night of the month of december. We have a few favorites that we watch every year, and then we always add a few new ones. The 25 days of christmas on family's abc has been a huge help in finding great new movies to watch every year. In fact, we have found some of our top favorites on this channel!

4. Cute Christmas Outfits

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Isn't it the sweetest thing to see a little girl wearing a santa claus dress or a little boy wearing an elf hat? From candy cane striped stockings to snowflake earrings and gingerbread scarves and mittens, there is something for everyone to wear at christmas time. Even if holiday- themed clothes aren't "your" cup of tea, you can still admire others in their light-up vests and Rudolph neckties. I don't go overboard so to speak, but i do have a few things I like to drag out and wear at christmas time, including a snowman sweater, christmas tree earrings and glitzy hair clips among a few other things.

5. Yummy Cookies

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It's undeniable that there seem to be more cookies in the cookie jar around the holiday season. We seem to be more in the mood for baking and definitely in the spirit for eating cookies at christmas time than any other time of the year. It could be all the pretty sprinkles and bright icing colors, or maybe the generosity of the season. I personally tend to think that we all know that santa just can't eat all those cookies by himself and so we like to help him out!

6. Packages

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Whether it's the beautiful christmas gifts under the tree, the golden and silver boxes in the display windows at the mall or packages tied with bright ribbons in the post office waiting to be mailed to our loved ones, there are more packages at christmastime than any other time of the year. Exchanging gifts is one of my favorite holiday traditions! I simply love to admire the gorgeous boxes wrapped so beautifully and placed under the tree, and I love seeing the look on my loved ones' face when they open the gift I've bought for them! The joy in their eyes says it all.

7. Nativity Scenes

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Amidst all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, I love to drive past a little church and see a tranquil nativity scene set up in the front yard. It's nice to get away from all the rush and steal a few quite, peaceful moments to remember the true reason for the season- Christ's birth. And I have miniature nativity scenes set up throughout my home to remind me to remember not to leave Christ out. Let's not get so busy that we forget the true meaning of christmas- it's not the tinsel, the lights, the gifts or the food. It's Christ and his birthday!

8. Cards

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We all love to receive christmas greetings from our loved ones. Checking the mailbox with expectancy, waiting for that first christmas card to arrive is a spectacular feeling! I love sending them out as much as I love receiving them. My favorite types of cards to send or receive are picture cards. It's nice to see how much your family and friends have grown over the past year, and you always have more of an incentive to keep and possibly display the cards with pictures on them than you do a regular card with a cute poem in it.

9. Pictures with Santa

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I think kids love the christmas season more than any other person and with good reasons! Going to visit santa at the mall is the highlight of any little kids' day. And as mothers, we love to display that picture of our sweet angel on Santa's lap right where it belongs- on the fridge! Don't forget to watch a great santa clause movie before you go visit santa. Get your child hyped up about pictures with santa!

10. Christmas Magic

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Have you ever noticed, there seems to be a more generous, loving, and cheerful spirit in the air around christmas time? I love that feeling when you can just "feel" christmas arrive. It's not in the mall, or the church pageants, it's not in the stuffed turkey or the beautiful ornaments adoring your home. It's in that still moment, that quite evening you get to spend with your sweetheart or your children nestled up on the couch. It's in the joy on your child's face when he receives the gift he's wanted all year. It's in the softly whispered " I love you's" and the carols on the radio. That's the true magic of christmas.

Please stop and take the chance this year to truly enjoy christmas. Don't just attempt to "make it through". Live every moment to the fullest and find joy in the small moments. What are some of your favorite signs that christmas has arrived?

Top Photo Credit: Sabinche

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