Thanksgiving and Black Friday ShoppingThis is when Christmas shopping traditionally begins. A mad dash of folks getting up even too early to milk the cows in a coffee induced frenzy frantically looking for the best deal. Not Christmas.
DecorationsTrees, wreaths, and lights; lots and lots of lights. Well, we're no where near the Griswold's here, but we do have some decorations up to remind us of the holiday season. Still, this is not what Christmas is about.
Food and FamilyI could separate these, but I don't think you can have one without the other. Piles of food on the table with all your favorite, and not so favorite, relatives gathered 'round where they can hopefully let go of their differences for at least a few hours of nice camaraderie. But you can have family and food any time of the year, so this is still not Christmas.
GiftsThe first thing that comes to mind when you mention Christmas to some is the gifts. Now, you could argue that gifts belong up there with shopping, but you'd be wrong. Shopping is part of the giving and the unwrapping is the getting part. Gifts are fun, but this is not the end of the day and this is not what Christmas is about.
ChurchSome people would remind you that church is the real reason for the season. Celebrating Christ's birth is a powerful thing. The preparations during Advent, beautiful songs, nativity scenes, and a celebration of the readings are amazing. While this is very important it isn't the end of your day, and therefore, it isn't the most important part of Christmas.
Cookies and...What is the very last thing you do on Christmas Eve to get ready for Christmas? The very last thing you and everyone else does right before going to bed without fail year after year? That's right: you put out the cookies and milk for Santa Claus.
You could just leave Santa the cookies, but they're not half as good without something to drink, and to enjoy every last morsel of them you have to wash them down with a cold glass of milk.
And seriously, this is your last chance to stay on the nice list or get off the naughty list. No milk equals no presents. Maybe you're scared that you didn't make the nice list and so you leave an extra tall glass of milk out just in case. This last thing you do is also the most important thing about Christmas.
Therefore milk, obviously, is what Christmas is all about.
photo credit: DaylandS via photopin cc